California lawmaker backs off regional energy grid plan
SACRAMENTO (AP) — A contentious proposal to merge California’s energy grid with others in the West won’t advance this year, after the lawmaker sponsoring it said Wednesday it requires more discussion.
Assembly and Senate lawmakers, meanwhile, sent dozens of bills to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, including proposals to increase transparency in drug pricing, limit immigration authorities’ access to campuses and workplaces, and ban smoking at beaches and parks. The year’s legislative session is quickly winding to a close, with lawmakers heading home after Friday’s votes.
Democratic Assemblyman Chris Holden announced he would halt his two bills to let the California Independent System Operator eventually merge with grid managers in other Western states. CalISO and other backers said a regionalization plan would make it more convenient and cheap to integrate renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
But critics charges a regional grid would open California’s market to coal and natural gas power generated in other states.