This is just a recap of what we will be looking at in the year to come with a new Governor and also a quick look at what happens next...
On November 2, 2010, Californian’s elected Jerry Brown as the next Governor. So, how will the election impact the energy sector?
Appointments and Energy Advisors
As soon as this coming week, we can expect Brown to announce a team that will lead his transition into office. This team will help organize and recruit those that will lead the various agencies and departments – but principally – the initial transition team typically ends up as part of the Governor’s Cabinet or Governor’s Office initial key advisor staff.
Specific to Energy, candidate Brown said he would appoint an energy advisor – he called that a “renewable energy jobs czar” -- Whomever he selects, they will be a driver for energy policy in California.
Candidate Brown on Energy
Candidate Brown campaigned on the following plan for energy:
- Building 12,000 megawatts of Localized Electricity Generation
- Building 8,000 Megawatts of Large Scale Renewables and Necessary Transmission Lines
- Dealing with Peak Energy Needs and Develop energy Storage
- A Timeline to Make New Homes and Commercial Buildings Zero Net Energy
- Making Existing Buildings More Efficient
- Adopting Stronger Appliance Efficiency Standards
- Developing More Cogeneration Projects to increase combined heat and power production by 6,500 megawatts
- Add 500,000 new renewable energy jobs
Governor Brown will be appointing to the energy and environmental agencies:
CPUC – Brown will have at least 3 appointments to replace Commissioners Bohn, Gruenich and Ryan
CEC – Brown will have at least 3 appointments to replace Commissioners Byron, Eggert, and Wisenmiller
Other Agencies – Brown will also have appointments to agency secretary roles at Cal EPA and Resources, Chair at CARB (the entire CARB Board serves at the Governor’s pleasure), CAISO (Chair Willrich’s term is up, Board member Tom Habashi, was not confirmed. Kristine Hafner also did not win support of the current administration, and Board member Laura Doll told media she would not seek reappointment -- so 4 appointments for Brown here).
NEW LEGISLATURE/CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS
While the California Legislature remains unchanged as far as balance goes (Democrats still in control of the Senate and Assembly), there are rumors that we will see a new president of the Senate. We may also see a shuffling of committee chairs.
While it should not impact the policy of energy too much, it is interesting to note that all Constitutional officers are Democrats [NOTE: AS OF THIS DATE, THE AG RACE HAS NOT YET BEEN CALLED].
All of these changes could bring changes in the views on energy policy.
Energy Legislative Committee Chairs Re-Elected Easily
Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), current chair of the Senate Energy Utilities & Commerce Committee, won 69 percent of the vote; Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Los Angeles), current chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, won 82 percent of the vote.
With regard to the propositions, the failure of Prop 23 means that AB 32 can move forward. The passage of Prop 26 could mean that the legislature will have to approve by 2/3 vote how and if fees will be imposed to implement AB 32. So this makes for an interesting situation.
Legislation and RPS vs. RES
Depending on whom Brown selects as his energy advisor or advisors, these have the potential to greatly impact what we see in the form of the next RPS bill (Rumor: We will see a new RPS bill in January, this bill has the potential to look very similar to SB 722 – and Senator Simitian is expected to again carry the RPS bill – 3rd time the charm?). Labor played a key role in the discussions in the last 2 versions of this effort, so considering that labor and the unions influenced by labor gave Brown $25 million (IEs that paid for the Whitman attack ads), I assume they will again play a major role and this time with a much more sympathetic ear from the Administration.
The most important message to take from this is the following: If you are working on projects in California, you really need to pay close and active attention to how the energy and renewable process develops under the new Governor and offer your opinions on a regular basis.