OPPOSE SB 386 and uphold California’s climate change goals and
My name is __________. I am a constituent, and my zip code is _______. I am a member of Indivisible SF.
I'm calling to ask Senator Wiener to vote NO on SB 386. This bill would gut the renewable energy goals set forth in SB 100 by allowing existing large hydro dams to count toward the standard. Climate change is a worldwide emergency and I expect California to lead the way in environmental reform, not undermine our own progress.
Can I count on Senator Wiener to vote NO on SB 386 on the Senate floor?
Last year the California state legislature passed SB 100, a critically important bill to protect our environment and limit climate change. SB 386 effectively guts SB 100 and has already passed the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.
Scott Wiener, a member of that committee, did not vote in committee, so we don’t know his position on this bill. This bill does not have to be heard in any more committees and is likely to be voted on by the entire Senate very soon.
SB 100 increased the target for renewable energy use to 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2045, and specifically defined renewable energy generation to include hydroelectric generation of no more than 30 megawatts.
SB 386 (Caballero) would significantly weaken California’s landmark and extremely successful clean energy program, the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) and provide unnecessary and special treatment to certain utilities. It would allow electricity generated from existing large hydro dams to count towards the 60% renewable energy standard established under SB 100.
Since the irrigation districts are already fully sourced, this means they can take credit for their hydro, and then sell off their existing RPS compliant resources. It effectively guts SB 100. If they can count existing large hydro to meet their mandate, there are no new renewable resources needed.
SB 386 would allow Turlock Irrigation District and Modesto Irrigation District to roll back their RPS requirements by counting their large hydropower generation as an eligible renewable resource, thereby removing the need for these utilities to invest in new clean and renewable resources while they continue to burn natural gas and coal.
California excludes large hydropower from its RPS because the primary purpose of the program is to transform the electricity mix in California by reducing fossil fuel use and scaling up the use of clean, renewable energy. SB 386 would give unfair treatment to one set of electricity providers, a concession that would almost certainly be demanded by all other utilities in the state that own large hydropower projects.
Allowing large hydropower to count towards the RPS would permit vast quantities of existing large hydropower generation located throughout the West to substitute for the development of new clean energy resources and undermine the clean energy targets recently enacted by the Legislature in SB 100.
Renewable energy today is an extremely cost-effective investment, and provides benefits that go beyond their zero carbon value. California enacted the RPS in 2002 to make utilities less vulnerable to supply shortages of any one source of fuel. Climate change will bring hotter, drier weather to California and reduce the amount of hydropower generation capacity over time. It is critical that utilities with large hydropower in their portfolios begin investing in other carbon-free resources so that they don’t fall back on fossil fuel generation during dry years when hydropower is less available.