During an Assembly floor session Wednesday, Asm. Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego argued low- and middle-income taxpayers should no longer pay higher energy rates to cover incentivizes for rooftop solar panels. Her bill aims to shift the cost for solar subsidies to the state.
“This bill goes away if the damn [Public Utilities Commission] does their job,” said Gonzalez.
Yet Asm. Al Muratsuchi of Torrance said the bill would eliminate “what is perhaps one of the most successful programs” to incentivize clean energy.
The California Farm Bureau, meanwhile, had been concerned that changing the parameters would lead to increased regulatory uncertainty. The utilities commission is also considering a net metering tariff, which the Farm Bureau anticipates will have significantly higher ongoing costs than those currently in place. The Farm Bureau is now neutral on the measure, following clarifying amendments.
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Republican Asm. James Gallagher of Yuba City, who opposed the bill, pointed out that California’s residential consumers pay 80% more for energy than anywhere else in the U.S.
Asm. Isaac Bryan of Los Angeles, who was sworn into office last week, noted that the “conversation is pitting environmental justice versus economic justice, working families versus saving the planet.”
The bill failed to pass the Assembly.