By 2020, it is forecasted that California power plants generating more than 15,000 megawatts (MW) of energy from fossil fuels will be retired, replaced or divested. Loss of current power plants will increase the need to find replacements as well as place a cost burden on Californians. California is further limited on what types of power may be used to serve the current and increased demand for energy. Although energy conservation, energy efficiency standards and increased energy sources have helped keep supply greater than demand, continued population and economic growth edges the state closer to an imbalance between supply and demand.
The production, transmission and cost of energy continue to be a central issue for California’s residents, business community and economy. The success of the state’s economy, and by extension the nation’s, relies on the ability of local, state and federal leaders to find common ground and determine the most efficient and equitable means of upgrading and expanding the energy system while aligning it with economic growth and environmental initiatives. Reliability and affordability need to be at the forefront of California’s energy policies. There are multiple, and sometimes competing, regulations placed on the energy sector, affecting the price and availability of energy. Energy
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Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking)
Recommend policies on issues concerning utilities and commerce, including electricity, telecommunications, commercial transactions, corporate governance, economic stimulus and development.
Stopped proposals in 2013 leading to fuel and gas price increases due to moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing (AB 1301, AB 1323) or an oil and gas severance tax discouraging production in the state (SB 241).
Stopped proposals in 2012 leading to fuel price increases, including two that increased energy costs by allocating funds from an illegal tax to various programs that are not needed to cost-effectively implement the market-based trading mechanism under AB 32, the state’s landmark climate change law.
Supported legislation in 2012 streamlining projects converting from solar thermal to photovoltaic technology (AB 1073).
Preventing electricity cost increases by stopping in 2011 an eight-year extension of a tax (public goods charge) on electricity ratepayers in the territories of the investor-owned utilities (AB 724, SBX 1 28).
Aggressive campaigning and advocacy by CalChamber-led coalitions dampened enthusiasm for tax increases and new taxes, including an energy tax that raises the price of gasoline and California-produced crude oil.
It is critical that California’s electricity generation keeps pace with its growing population and increasing demand. The state should focus its attention on flexible resources to sustain future economic growth and to ensure renewables are able to come on line in time to keep up with the various programs being implemented across agencies.
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