Sacramento– On January 18th, the California Public Utilities Commission made a final decision on funding its clean energy research program through 2020. The decision provides for the funding of the Electric Program Investment Charge or EPIC program, $60,000,000 which will be allocated to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities.
AB 523, the Equity in Clean Energy Investments Act, was signed by Governor Brown in 2017 and dedicates at least 25% of available EPIC funds for clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities, and an additional 10% in low-income households. The bill requires the California Energy Commission give the fullest possible consideration to localized health impacts when authorizing the deployment of these technologies, ensuring that the investment made in these communities provides the greatest benefit possible. The bill was a priority of its author, Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) and by its co-sponsors, the Women’s Policy Institute and the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA).
“We must live up to our environmental values and ensure that time and resources are dedicated to disadvantaged communities. Environmental quality and equity can only be achieved if we ensure that all communities are able to benefit from green technology and innovation.
“Although recent efforts from the California Energy Commission are encouraging when it comes to the inclusion of low-income and disadvantaged communities, AB 523 is ensuring sustained investment in regions of our state that need the most investment and the recently allocated $60,000,000 to these areas is just the start,” said Assemblymember Reyes.
The 47th Assembly District is disproportionately burdened with pollution, and is home to communities that should benefit from the resources provided by the legislation. AB 523 will help remove many of the barriers that limit residents from fully participating in energy programs, and will help the state move away from the use of dirty energy, like fossil fuels, toward clean and renewable energy that will lead to the improvement of our environment and health. These investments will also promote job development and economic growth throughout California. To learn more about AB 523 online, click here.
Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes represents Assembly District 47 which includes the cities of Fontana, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, San Bernardino and the unincorporated areas of Muscoy and Bloomington.
Contact: Galen Dobbins, firstname.lastname@example.org, (916) 319-2047