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Sacramento Watch: Climate Bills We’re Tracking Now

This legislative session has brought a good number of climate-related bills. Here are some key bills to watch.

SB 252 Fossil Fuel Divestment Act

Arguably, the most important bill we’re watching is SB 252, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, back after last year’s defeat. This bill prohibits the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) from investing in fossil fuel companies, and it requires them to divest any current holdings in these companies by 2030. So far, so good—this bill passed out of the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee on April 12 and is now headed to the Judiciary Committee.
Status 6/15/23: Referred to Assembly Committee on Natural Resources

Zero-Emission Buses, Solar, and EVs as Emergency Power Backups

AB 579 mandates a move to zero-emission school buses, requiring all new purchases and contracts to be ZEVs by 2035.
Status 6/19/23: From Senate Committee on Ed chair, with author’s amendments: Amend, and re-refer to committee. Read second time, amended, and re-referred to Com. on ED.

SB 49 encourages construction of solar canopies over parking lots and directs the Department of Transportation to plan for solar installations along its highway rights-of-way.
Status 6/19/23: Re-referred to Assembly Coms. on U. & E. and REV. & TAX. pursuant to Assembly Rule 96.

SB 233 addresses the use of electric vehicles as a source of power for grid reliability and emergency backups. It requires the Energy Commission to establish goals to accelerate the use of vehicle-to-home, vehicle-to-building, and vehicle-to-grid technology. It also makes funds available to provide higher incentive levels for such bidirectional-capable EVs.
Status 6/15/23: Referred to Assembly Coms. on TRANS. and U. & E.

SB 674 Refinery Fence-Line Monitoring

SB 674 creates a statewide standard for the refinery fence-line monitoring program, ensuring that noxious pollutants are measured and best practices deployed to protect the well-being of surrounding communities. Its passage will be very good news for the folks in our county who live near a refinery.
Status 6/19/23: From Assembly committee with author’s amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on NAT. RES.

Watch for our updates and action alerts as these and other climate bills make their way through the legislature.

Last updated 6/27/23
Photo by Greg Thames on Pexels
This article appeared first in our April 2023 newsletter

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