Legislators, Newsom negotiating behind closed doors over energy deal

by Julie Cart and Rachel Becker : calmatters – excerpt

In summary Environmentalists and clean-energy experts say Newsom is pushing to give the Energy Commission sole control over siting of energy plants, usurping local control. The deal also would prolong the life of natural gas plants…

California’s top-ranking legislators, under pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom, are privately negotiating to include a far-reaching energy package in their budget deal that would give the state Energy Commission sole control over siting of clean-energy facilities.

The effort aims to streamline approval of solar and wind projects, and deliver more electricity to California’s aging grid while scaling back reliance on fossil fuels.

But it also could usurp local decision-making over projects, and already has triggered vehement objections across California from city and county officials. The deal also would sideline other state agencies and raise concerns about the environmental impacts of the energy projects…(more)

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