Tag Archives: California Senate Bill 350 (SB350)

Sacramento: Oil firms challenge state over clean fuel

Repost from SFGate

Clean fuels shaping up as fight of the year in Sacramento

New battle lines drawn in fight over low-carbon policy
By Laurel Rosenhall, CALmatters, Mar 5, 2016 Updated: 3/6/16 3:33pm
A pending fight over low-carbon fuel standards could hinge on how they affect the state’s cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP
A pending fight over low-carbon fuel standards could hinge on how they affect the state’s cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. Photo: Ted S. Warren, AP

A Harvard economist known globally for his work on climate change policy sat in the Sacramento office of the oil industry’s lobbying firm recently, making the case that California is fighting global warming the wrong way.

The state has a good cap and trade system, Robert Stavins said, but some of its other environmental policies are weakening it. He pointed to a rule known as the low carbon fuel standard, which is supposed to increase production of clean fuels.

Environmental advocates consider it a complement to the cap and trade program that makes industry pay for emitting carbon; Stavins had other words.

“It’s contradictory. It’s counter-productive. It’s perverse,” he said. “I would recommend eliminating it.”

California’s low carbon fuel policy is shaping up as a major fight this year for the state’s oil industry, an influential behemoth that spent more than $10.9 million lobbying Sacramento last year, more than any other interest group.

“There’s a storm coming,” biofuels lobbyist Chris Hessler told a roomful of clean energy advocates at a recent conference on low carbon fuels. “If we don’t meet this attack vigorously, we’re all going to be in a lot of trouble.”


The oil industry was front and center in the biggest fight to hit the state Capitol last year: a proposal to cut California’s petroleum consumption in half over the next 15 years to slow the pace of climate change. The industry won its battle when lawmakers stripped the oil provision from Senate Bill 350.

But California’s larger oil war is far from over, and the newest battle lines are beginning to emerge.

Gov. Jerry Brown is plowing ahead with plans to cut vehicle oil use in half through executive orders and regulations like the low carbon fuel standard. The standard requires producers to cut the carbon intensity of their fuels 10 percent by 2020. To reach the standard, refineries will have to make a blend that uses more alternative fuels — like ethanol — and less oil.

The program was adopted in 2009 but was locked in a court battle for years. California regulators prevailed, and took action last year to resume the program. Now producers must start changing the way they formulate their fuel or buy credits if their product is over the limit.

That’s led to higher costs for fuel makers, which they are passing on to consumers at a rate of about 4 cents per gallon, according to the California Energy Commission. But the price is likely to keep increasing, the oil industry warns, as it gets tougher to meet the standard that increases over time.

Which is where Stavins’ argument comes in. It goes like this: the cleaner fuels required by the low carbon fuel standard will emit less greenhouse gas. That will reduce the need for fuel producers to buy permits in the cap and trade system (which makes industry pay for emitting climate-warming pollution) and create additional emissions by allowing other manufacturers to buy the pollution permits.

Less demand will also depress prices on the cap and trade market.

Stavins is the director of Harvard’s Environmental Economics Program and part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a prestigious group of experts who review research for the United Nations.

He’s also an advisor to the Western States Petroleum Association, which paid him to make the trip to Sacramento, where he talked with reporters before a day of meetings with lawmakers and business leaders.

Environmental advocates and California clean air regulators reject his view. They say the fuel standard works in harmony with other carbon-reducing programs and it’s an important piece of California’s effort to achieve its climate change goals.

“One of the major goals of the low carbon fuel standard… is to drive innovation of new and alternative low carbon fuels,” said Stanley Young, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board. “The cap and trade program on its own cannot do that.”

Alternative fuel producers gathered in a ballroom near the Capitol days after Stavins’ visit to Sacramento. During a presentation on the rising price of low carbon fuel credits, Hessler, the biofuels lobbyist, warned that the program is coming under “political attack.”

He defended the fuel standard by saying the regulation limits the price of the credits, and the cost to consumers will be kept down as some fuel producers make money by selling credits to others. He urged conference participants to share his information with California policymakers to counter opposition to the low carbon fuel standard.

“We’ve got to be ready for this,” Hessler said.


A fight last year over a low carbon fuel standard in the state of Washington may provide some clues about how things could go down here.

There, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee proposed a low carbon fuel standard but failed to earn enough support for it in the Legislature. The fuel standard became a bargaining chip for Republicans in negotiations about funding for transportation infrastructure.

Here in California, lawmakers and Gov. Brown are also negotiating a plan to pay for a backlog of repairs to state roads and highways. Brown has pitched spending $36 billion over the next decade with a mix of taxes and other revenue sources.

Republican votes are necessary to reach the two-thirds threshold for approving new taxes. So far, Republicans have balked at the plan, with some suggesting that the fuel standard should be included in the negotiations.

“As we’re having the discussions about transportation funding in general in California, and transportation taxes in particular, this ought to be part of the discussion,” said Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia.

It’s a message echoed by the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, which advocated against the low carbon fuel standard in Washington.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd said she wants California lawmakers to “take a very hard look” at the low carbon fuel standard as they consider the future of climate change policies and the desire to repair the state’s roads.

“All those things interplay,” Reheis-Boyd said. “That’s a big conversation. I think people across the state are willing to have it, and I think we’re at a pivotal point to have it this year.”

CALmatters is a nonprofit journalism venture dedicated to explaining state policies and politics. For more news analysis by Laurel Rosenhall go to https://calmatters.org/newsanalysis/.

California Legislature Approves Landmark Climate Legislation—SB 350

From a State Senator Kevin De León Press Release
[Editor: See latest on SB 350 on leginfo.ca.gov.  – RS] 

Legislature Approves Landmark Climate Legislation—SB 350

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2015

Contact: Claire.Conlon@sen.ca.gov (916) 651-4024

SB 350 Bill Authors Senators Mark Leno and Kevin de León are joined by Senate colleagues and bill supporters at a 2/10/15 press conference where the California Climate Leadership Package was announced.

SACRAMENTO – On September 11, 2015, the California Legislature approved the nation’s most far-reaching climate change legislation by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, sending the measure to the Governor for his signature.

SB 350, The Clean Energy and Reduction Act, codifies Governor Brown’s goals to double energy efficiency in our buildings and generate half of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030—in the largest state in the union and the eighth largest economy in the world. Before amendments made in the Assembly this week, the original measure also included a provision to reduce demand for petroleum use in vehicles by 50 percent.

“These new steps build on California’s historic commitment to lead the world in the fight against climate change and build a healthy and livable planet for our children and grandchildren,” said Senate leader De León. “But our efforts to reduce carbon emissions are far from over as global warming and air pollution remain one of the most important issues of our generation and one the greatest threats for generations to come.”

Said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who presented SB 350 on the Assembly floor Friday night: “This is, make no doubt about it, landmark legislation for California. We will continue to lead the way.”

Highlights (from Sen. De León‘s Newsroom):

Full List of Support for SB 350:

  • 350.org
  • 350 Bay Area/Marin
  • Academy of Pediatrics- California
  • Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)
  • Alameda Building Trades Council
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors
  • Alliance for Solar Choice
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Farmland Trust
  • American Lung Association
  • American Lung Association-California
  • American White Water
  • Annies’s Natural Foods
  • Artesia City Councilmember Ali Sajjad Taj
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network
  • Asthma and Sinus Center
  • Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County
  • Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Audubon
  • Autodesk
  • AzTech
  • Aztec Energy
  • Azul
  • Baz Allergy
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Beneficial State Bank
  • Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates
  • Berkshire Hathaway Energy
  • Biosynthetic Technologies
  • Blattner Energy
  • Bloom Energy
  • Bonnie J. Adario Lung Cancer Foundation
  • Borrego Solar
  • Breathe California
  • Bright Power
  • BYD Motors, Inc.
  • CA Local conservation corps
  • California Association of Sanitation Agencies
  • California Bicycle Coalition
  • California Biomass Energy Alliance
  • California Black Health Network
  • California Catholic Conference
  • California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health
  • California Conservation Corps
  • California Democratic Party
  • California District Council of Ironworkers
  • California Energy Efficiency Industry Council
  • California Energy Storage Alliance
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance
  • California Equity Leaders Network
  • California Federation of Teachers
  • California Interfaith Power and Light
  • California League of Conservation Voters
  • California Municipal Utilities Association
  • California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC)
  • California Nurses Association
  • California Pan Ethnic Health Network
  • California Public Health Association- North
  • California Solar
  • California Solar Energy Industry Association
  • California State Association of Electrical Workers
  • California State Pipes Trade Council
  • California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
  • California Thoracic Society
  • California Trout
  • California Walks
  • California Wind Energy Association
  • California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers
  • Californians Against Waste
  • CalSTART
  • Canadian Solar
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton
  • Center for Climate Change and Health
  • Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Center on Race Poverty and the Environment
  • Central California Asthma Collaborative
  • Chai Energy
  • ChangeLab Solutions
  • Circulate San Diego
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Huntington Park City of Los Angeles
  • City of Santa Monica
  • Clean Energy Collective
  • Clean Energy and Clean Energy Renewable Fuels
  • Clean Fuel Partners
  • Clean Power Campaign
  • Clean Power Finance
  • Clean Water Action
  • CleanTech San Diego
  • Cleveland National Forest Foundation
  • CLIF Bar & Co.
  • Climate Parents
  • Climate Resolve
  • Coalition for Clean Air
  • Coalition for Renewables and Gas
  • Coalition for Sustainable Transportation
  • Coalition of California Utility Employees
  • Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation
  • Code REDD
  • Contra Costa Building Trades Council
  • Controller Betty Yee
  • County of Los Angeles Public Health
  • Dignity Health
  • Distinguished Outreach Services
  • Doctors for Climate Health
  • Dr. Carl Wunsch (Harvard)
  • Dr. Roger Bales (UC Merced)
  • Eagle Creek
  • Eagle Crest Energy
  • Eco Factor
  • EDF Renewable Energy
  • Endangered Habitats League
  • EnergyHub
  • energyhippo
  • Energy Source
  • Environment California
  • Environmental and Energy Consulting
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
  • Eon Energy
  • EtaGen
  • First Fuel
  • First Solar
  • Fresno, Madera, and Kings Building Trades Council
  • Friends Committee on Legislation of California
  • Friends of the River
  • fs energy
  • Gaia Development Services
  • Gap, Inc. Genability
  • Greenbelt Alliance
  • Greenlining institute
  • Green Star Solutions
  • greentech
  • GRID Alternatives
  • Harvest Power
  • Hawthorne City Councilmember Angie Reyes English
  • Health Care Without Harm
  • Health Officers Association of California
  • Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
  • Home Energy Analytics
  • Humboldt/Del Norte Building Trades Council
  • Hydropower Reform Coalition
  • icontrol Networks
  • Inglewood City Councilmember Eloy Morales
  • Imperial Building Trades Council
  • Independent Energy Producers Association
  • Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • Investor Confidence Project
  • KB Home
  • Kern, Inyo & Mono Building Trades Council
  • kW Engineering
  • Lancaster Choice Energy
  • Large Scale Solar Association
  • League of Women Voters of California
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Long Beach  Mayor Robert Garcia
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education
  • Los Angeles/Orange Building Trades Council
  • Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California
  • Lyft
  • Marin Building Trades Council
  • Marin Clean Energy
  • Mars, Inc.
  • McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
  • Medical Advocates for Healthy Air
  • Methanol Institute
  • Mercury Press International
  • Mid Valley Building Trades Council
  • Mission Data Empowering Energy Savings
  • Moms Clean Air Force
  • Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian
  • Monterey/Santa Cruz Building Trades Council
  • Motiv Power Solutions
  • Mountain Riders Alliance
  • Move LA
  • Napa/Solano Building Trades Council
  • Natel Energy
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Natural Resource Defense Council
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Nest
  • NextGen Climate
  • NextTracker, Inc
  • Nobel economist Dr. Kenneth Arrow (Stanford)
  • Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Mario Molina (UCSD)
  • Northeastern, Shasta, Trinity, Lassen & Tehama Building Trades Council
  • Northface
  • NRG Energy, Inc.
  • Oakland City Council
  • Office of Ratepayer Advocates
  • OPEN
  • Pacific Ethanol
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • Pattern Energy
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
  • Planning and Conservation League
  • plotwatt
  • PolicyLink
  • Propel
  • Proterra, Inc.
  • Public Advocates
  • Public Health Institute
  • Rainforest Automation
  • Recurrent Energy
  • Redlands Area Democratic Club
  • Regional Asthma Management and Prevention
  • Rep. Adam Schiff
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo
  • Rep. Barbara Lee
  • Rep. Doris Matsui
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell
  • Rep. Janice Hahn
  • Rep. Jared Huffman
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney
  • Rep. John Garamendi
  • Rep. Juan Vargas
  • Rep. Judy Chu
  • Rep. Julia Brownley
  • Rep. Karen Bass
  • Rep. Lois Capps
  • Rep. Loretta Sanchez
  • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier
  • Rep. Mark Takano
  • Rep. Mike Honda
  • Rep. Mike Thompson
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi
  • Rep. Scott Peters
  • Rep. Susan Davis
  • Rep. Ted Lieu
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren
  • Retroficiency
  • Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Sacramento/Sierra Building Trades Council
  • San Bernardino/Riverside Building Trades Council
  • San Diego Building Trades Council
  • San Fernando City Councilmember Antonio Lopez
  • San Fernando City Councilmember Robert Gonzales
  • San Francisco Asthma Task Force
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • San Francisco Building Trades Council
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • San Joaquin, Calaveras & Alpine Building Trades Council
  • San Mateo Building Trades Council
  • Santa Ana City Councilmember Michele Martinez
  • Santa Barbara County Air Quality Control District
  • Santa Clara County Medical Society
  • Santa Clara/San Benito Building Trades Council
  • Sempra Energy Utilities
  • Sequoia Riverlands Trust
  • Service Employees International Union – California
  • Sierra Business Council
  • Sierra Club California
  • Signal Energy, LLC
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Small Business California
  • SmartWool
  • Solar City
  • Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Sonoma Clean Power
  • Sonoma County Asthma Coalition
  • Sonoma, Mendocino & Lake Building Trades Council
  • South Yuba River Citizens League
  • Southern California Edison
  • Southern California Public Power
  • Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association
  • Stanislaus, Merced & Mariposa Building Trades Council
  • State Association of Electrical Workers
  • State Building and Construction Trade Council of California
  • Stem, Inc.
  • Sun Edison
  • Sungevity
  • Sunpower
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
  • Sustainable Power Group
  • Symantec
  • TechNet
  • The Utility Reform Network
  • Thinkshift Communications
  • TransForm
  • Treasurer John Chiang
  • Tri-Counties Building Trades Council
  • Trust for Public Lands
  • Tulare County Citizens for Responsible Growth
  • U.S. Senator Boxer
  • U.S. Senator Feinstein   Unilever
  • Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Union of Elevator Constructors
  • United Union of Roofers, Waterpoofers and Allied Trades
  • US Green Building Council
  • UtiliSave
  • Valley Clean Air Now
  • Verdafera
  • Vivint Solar
  • Voices For Progress
  • Vote Solar
  • Watersmart Software
  • Watsonville City Council   WeatherBug Home
  • Western Council of Sheet Metal Workers
  • Western State Council
  • Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification

For more information about California’s climate leadership visit:



Photo: SB 350 Bill Authors Senators Mark Leno and Kevin de León are joined by Senate colleagues and bill supporters at a 2/10/15 press conference where the California Climate Leadership Package was announced


Claire Conlon
Press Secretary
Office of Senate President pro Tempore
Senator Kevin de León
24th Senate District – Los Angeles
(916) 651-4024


SB32 and SB350 – both bills stalled in Cal Assembly

Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle
[Editor:  The following is a brief PORTION of a late-breaking SFChron news article.  The article focuses on medical marijuana and racist mascots, then turns to breaking news on two climate change bills that are stalled in the California State Assembly.  Latest on leginfo.ca.gov: SB32, SB350.  – RS]

California government leaders…

By Melody Gutierrez, Updated: September 10, 2015 10:38pm

[near end of article]  …Also stalling before the deadline was a climate change bill that aimed to chart the state’s path toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SB32 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County), would have required the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990’s levels by 2030, and to 80 percent below 1990’s levels by 2050. Those targets were previously called for by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brown through executive orders.

The bill failed 25-33 in the Assembly on Tuesday and on Thursday Pavley said she would not seek another vote this year.

“Unfortunately, the state Assembly and the administration were not supportive, for now, and we could not pass this important proposal,” Pavley said in a statement.

SB32’s faltering came a day after another climate change bill was gutted.

SB350 no longer requires the state to cut petroleum use in half over the next 15 years, which Brown said was the result of well-financed opposition from the oil industry. The bill still calls for the state to boost energy efficiency in buildings by 50 percent and requires California to get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

California Lawmakers Abandon Key Part Of Climate Legislation – Big Oil wins

Various sources …

Jerry Brown: Oil lobby gutted climate bill – San Francisco Chronicle
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said a well-financed oil industry won a fight over the state’s efforts to pass legislation that would drastically reduce California’s gas consumption. But the feisty governor pledged to keep pushing for climate change policies that reduce the state’s dependence on oil..more..

Big Oil Slick Captures Round 1 of CA Climate Change Drive – Huffington Post
The power of California’s oil refiners is always felt but rarely visible in Sacramento. It was on full display at Wednesday’s press conference when ..more..

California Lawmakers Abandon Key Part Of Climate Legislation, Blaming Oil Industry Lobbying – ThinkProgress
The oil industry has poured money into a campaign against SB 350, calling the legislation the “California Gas Restriction Act of 2015″ and warning that it could ..more..

Oil giants derail California bill to reduce gasoline use by 50% – The Guardian
With only two days left in the legislative session, oil industry successfully rallies for amendment to ambitious environmental bill SB350 ..more..

California Democrats Wanted to Save the World. They Just Caved to Big Oil – Mother Jones
It appears I was a bit too bullish on the prospects for historic new climate legislation in California. Yesterday, Democrats in the state legislature caved to pressure from the powerful oil industry and dropped a critical piece of the bill..more..

California climate change bill: Jerry Brown, Democrats drop oil-reduction target; talks on taxes stall – San Jose Mercury News
With just two days to go before the end of the legislative session, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders suffered a pair of stunning defeats at the hands of Republicans, oil companies and even some members of their own party..more..