A November 2 news story by Sammy Roth of the Los Angeles Times provides a comprehensive overview of the many issues and viewpoints swirling around California's Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. MBCA's earlier news stories of May 8 and June 4 provide our history of involvement as we have signed on to Solar Rights Alliance letters seeking both local and distributed renewable energy commitment and climate justice goals. (If you cannot access the article, here is a text-only version.)
The Net Metering bill AB 1139 that would reduce benefits for home solar failed to pass a June 2 California Assembly vote. MBCA joined many organizations in March to oppose the bill. Several renewable energy industry news groups have provided information and commentary on the bill and the vote, including PV Tech, Solar Power World, and PV Magazine. While it is "off the table" for now, the bill could be reintroduced in January 2022.
While Assembly Bill 1139 ("Net Energy Metering") contains provisions that support expansion of clean energy, especially to low-income customers, other provisions undercut those benefits. They add costs and reduce solar customer credit for extra energy they can send back to the grid. MBCA joined more than 30 organizations in signing a letter to insist on amendments that will continue to advance clean energy for low-income consumers.
MBCA has joined over 70 organizations signing a letter addressed to Governor Newsom and the California Public Utilities Commission stating concern about changes to net metering. Net metering allows rooftop solar owners connected to the grid to receive bill credit for energy produced beyond their own needs. This does not work to the advantage of investor-owned utilities that are pressing for changes. The letter also encourages more solar battery storage and rooftop solar growth with extra support for low-income communities.
MBCA has sent a letter to San Bernardino County Land Use Services and the Countywide Plan Coordinator with concerns about the Environmental Justice Policy proposed as part of the Countywide Plan. The Plan is due for consideration at a September 17 Planning Commission meeting. Of special concern is why Lucerne Valley has not been designated an "Environmental Justice Focus Area" (EJFA), and why other communities that should qualify by state descriptions do not qualify for the same protections.
- Desert Wise Living Landscape Tour 2020 goes virtual !
- Petition to list Yucca brevifolia as a threatened species.
- A week of Invasive Species Lunchtime Webinars.
- Opposition to Yellow Pine Solar Project
- Action on Eagle Crest Pumping Opposition.
- Funding Mojave Trails Acquisition
- Environmental Justice in Lucerne Valley.
- Opposition to Habitat Conservation Fund Budget Trailer Bill.
- Support for AB3030 For Land and Water Conservation.
- Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease found in the Morongo Basin.
- Ruth Denison 2020 Environmental scholarship recipient.
The latest solar energy project proposed for Lucerne Valley has generated a groundswell of concern and opposition. In a letter to the California State Lands Commission signed by MBCA and 16 other groups and more than 50 individuals, the case is built against Aurora Solar LLC, a 3600-acre utility scale development. According to the Lands Commission's own Environmental Justice Policy, the effects on this disadvantaged community with a significant population of older and health-compromised individuals would violate the agency's policy. The letter supports California's renewable energy goals, but provides detailed analysis and maps that illustrate why permitting the Aurora Solar project in Lucerne Valley would be damaging to the community.