December 17, 2021
Weideman Group Weekly
Following an increase in California’s COVID-19 cases and the
highly transmissible Omicron variant, California has reinstated
its mandatory indoor mask mandate. The mandate will be in
place until January 15, 2022 and applies to all individuals in
indoor public spaces and workplaces. Health and state
officials are hoping the mask mandate will deter another increase
in cases following the holidays and prevent a strain in the
Rooftop Solar Battle Heats Up
The California Public Utilities Commission released a proposed decision to make changes to the rooftop solar program in California. The proposal would reduce payments to solar customers that send electricity to the power grid when they generate more than they need, add a monthly fixed charge for solar customers, and switch from the existing net metering program to a net billing system. Critics of the proposed decision are calling it a giveaway to investor owned utilities, while others claim the proposal advances necessary reforms. The Commission may vote on this proposal as early as January. More information on the proposed decision can be found here.
Building on the recent federal infrastructure package, which includes $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure, the White House released the Biden-Harris Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan to support deploying EV chargers across the country. Among other items, the White House announced the creation of a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, stakeholder and automaker engagement processes, and a new solicitation for alternative fuel corridors eligible to receive federal funding. The announcement comes on the heels of draft regulations released by the California Air Resources Board to require 100 percent of new car sales to be zero emission vehicles by 2035.
Movers & Shakers
Assemblymember Jose Medina, Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, and Assemblymember Bill Quirk, Chair of the Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee, announced they will not be seeking reelection in 2022. Both members were termed out in 2024. Over in the Senate, Senator Henry Stern, Chair of the Natural Resource & Water Committee, announced he’ll be running for the Los Angeles County Supervisor seat being vacated by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. This is a free run for Senator Stern, meaning even if he loses he would still maintain his Senate seat since he is not up for reelection until 2024. Termed out Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg has also alluded to having an interest in running for the same supervisor seat.