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Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan Introduces Bills Supporting Clean Air and Clean Energy

For immediate release:

AB 427 would allow home and car battery owners to feed excess power into the state’s grid during peak usage preventing blackouts and excess fossil fuel emissions, and AB 426 would create new air pollution data measurements in order to reduce toxic pollutants

Sacramento, CA –  Today, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) introduced the first two bills of her environmental legislative package for the 2021 session, continuing her commitment to addressing our climate crisis.

In August 2020, over 800,000 homes and businesses in California lost power. During a record heat wave and in the midst of a pandemic, communities, vulnerable residents, and even hospitals were left without electricity. This was the result of serious underestimation of what California’s power grid could provide. 

At the same time, thousands of Californians had excess clean energy stored in solar-powered home batteries and electric cars. This energy could have filled gaps in supply, during these times of high demand for power, by being aggregated and sold to the grid - helping to prevent devastating outages. The only thing standing in the way is our own regulations.

This untapped energy source can help mitigate blackouts, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and incentivize consumers to run clean-powered homes. AB 427 requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop the guidelines necessary for the State to purchase the excess energy stored in consumer’s home batteries and electric cars.   

“Last summer’s rolling blackouts were simply unacceptable,” said Bauer-Kahan. “We owe it to Californians to use every tool available in our clean energy arsenal to mitigate these blackouts, while at the same time reducing the state’s dependence on fossil fuels. Figuring out appropriate guidelines to tap this massive unused energy source is simply common sense,” finished Bauer-Kahan.  

Bauer-Kahn also introduced AB 426, the Air Quality Analysis Act, which allows local air districts across the state to collect data from “indirect” sources of pollution, such as distribution centers and warehouses. The air districts would also be allowed to evaluate the health impacts of these pollution sources on surrounding communities. With this data, air districts can look for innovative ways to reduce toxic air contaminants and make our air more breathable.

“Every community deserves safe and breathable air,” said Bauer-Kahan. “Communities should not have to be forced to choose between affordable housing and clean air. We should be doing everything in our power to find the sources of these harmful pollutants so we can in turn find solutions for communities,” concluded Bauer-Kahan.

“The District is grateful for Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s authorship of AB 426 and is proud to sponsor this important bill. In addition to causing regional pollution impacts, emissions from transportation and goods movement can cause significant local public health impacts to people that live near large facilities such as warehouses and distribution centers. AB 426 would allow the Air District to better understand these local emission impacts and work with facilities and local communities to improve local air quality,” stated Jack Broadbent, Executive Officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.