California legislature considers environmental bills

The California Legislature has several environmental and land use bills in front of it right now.  Under state law, the legislature must act by August 31 in order to send any of these bills to the Governor for signature.  Here’s a quick summary of the pending legislation, with some links for further info.  (Current information on the status of any California bill, including amendments, is available here.)

In no particular order:

AB 1011 would provide tax credits for insurers that invest in certain types of “green” technology, including energy efficiency projects.

SB 722 would expand our state Renewable Portfolio Standard dramatically.

AB 1581 and SB 1456 would amend the California Environmental Quality Act.  AB 1581 would exempt certain big-box retail store alterations from the law’s requirements, while SB 1456 would create a mediation requirement and would add a rather strange provision that allows parties to seek sanctions for frivolous CEQA claims (something they are already allowed to do, and the bill doesn’t appear to change the law substantively).

AB 1998 would ban plastic bags from many California stores, and would limit the content of paper bags based on recycled content.  (There is a breaking story involving campaign contributions from the bill’s opponents in the chemical industry.)

SB 797, which would ban Bisphenol-A in products for children, appears to be in bad shape.

AB 2514, sponsored by Attorney General Jerry Brown, would increase energy storage by utilities.

AB 2503 would establish the framework for a “rigs to reefs” program, potentially allowing oil and gas platforms to be decommissioned without completely removing the platform structures.

And AB 1552, just withdrawn, would have let up on new rules that limit the way power plants can use ocean water for cooling.

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