Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry Bill to Promote Renewable Energy Jobs Passes in the Face of Utility Opposition
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D – Winters) passed AB 920 off of the Assembly Floor last week despite intense utility opposition. AB 920 will maintain a place in the energy market for renewable resources such as geothermal, biomass, and biogas. These resources provide high-paying jobs across California – particularly in Colusa, Lake, Yolo and Sonoma Counties in her 4th Assembly District – improve air quality, and help ensure our electricity supply is reliable.
Statewide goals to increase California’s reliance on renewable energy have been very successful in reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, but have not successfully ensured that all renewable resources are properly valued for their climate change, air quality, and economic benefits.
“Geothermal and biomass energy facilities provide hundreds of vital jobs in the communities I represent where devastating levels of unemployment continue in the wake of the Great Recession,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry. “Geothermal resources must be used or the facilities die. And, biomass facilities are critical to ensuring our forestry and agricultural waste is used for energy rather than emitting poisonous methane or fueling wildfires.”
Biomass and geothermal facilities contribute property taxes and royalties to local economies, in addition to being job creators. Tax credits and tax exemptions for renewables like wind and solar, coupled with low labor costs, undercut the market. As a result, over 75 percent of the renewable energy in California comes from wind and solar. AB 920 will help level the playing field so renewable resources that are economic drivers have a fair chance to complete for contracts.
“Wind and solar are important renewable resources, but they can’t be the only resources we rely on,” said Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry. “Energy coming from wind and solar varies with the weather and needs to be balanced with reliable renewable energy. We can do that with geothermal and biomass, or let utilities move to a permanent reliance on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.”
AB 920 passed 75 – 0 on the Assembly Floor with Democrat coauthor Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Republican coauthor Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) voting Yes. AB 920 will move to the Senate where the Assemblymember will continue to advocate for reliable renewable energy market in California.
Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa County, all of Yolo County except West Sacramento, Dixon in Solano County and Rohnert Park in Sonoma County. www.asm.ca.gov/aguiar-curry