Green Party opposes AB2145, seeks to preserve Community Choice Aggregation

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

Subject: AB 2145 - OPPOSE

Dear members of the California State Assembly and State Senate:

The Green Party of California hereby expresses its strong opposition to California Assembly Bill 2145 (AB 2145). AB 2145 runs directly counter to five of our Party’s Ten Key Values: ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, decentralization, community-based economics, and sustainability.

Members of the Green Party were active and engaged in the advocacy that led to the enactment of AB 117, the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) law of 2002. CCA was envisioned by Green Party members and others as a tool to achieve substantial greenhouse gas emissions reductions by increasing the use of energy efficiency and new decentralized renewable energy resources, and to stimulate local economies by creating living wage jobs and spurring healthy competition in the energy sector. It is also an essential tool that fosters energy democracy by putting decision-making about energy sources in the hands of people in local communities, thereby enabling them to chart their own energy destinies.

Just when the first CCA program in the state is beginning to bear fruit, the second one has just launched, and many communities across the state are evaluating CCA programs for their own communities, why would the legislature even think about nipping such a promising policy in the bud?

If enacted, AB 2145 will essentially destroy the prospects of any future CCAs emerging in the state. It will do this by changing the well-founded opt-out choice structure into a completely unworkable opt-in choice structure. The opt-out structure was chosen carefully due to the fact that opt-in programs, no matter how beneficial they may be to a prospective customer, achieve only single digit participation rates. This is not sufficient to establish a viable program. In order to achieve the critical mass needed to establish a competitive program, the opt-out structure is not just desired, it is required.

The bottom line is that CCA law, as structured, introduces a choice where none currently exists, and is the only way to launch a successful CCA program. We therefore urge you to vote no on AB 2145 when the opportunity presents itself.

Sincerely,        

Sanda Everette                            Alex Shantz               Michael Feinstein
Co-coordinators, GPCA Coordinating Committee         GPCA Spokesperson

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