Environmental groups are opposing two assembly bills that are under review by California legislators, claiming the bills would promote the use of fossil fuels in the East Bay and limit consumers’ ability to choose their energy supplier.
Assembly Bill 726 and Assembly Bill 813 would authorize California’s main grid authority, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), to transition from a government-appointed board to a fully independent board. An independent board would potentially regionalize California’s power governance such that representatives of out-of-state utilities and power plants could join the board.
Currently, the Western power grid connects 14 states, two Canadian provinces, and Northern Mexico, and is managed by 38 different bodies. CAISO oversees the operation of California’s bulk electric power system, transmission lines and electricity market generated by member utilities, such as Oakland-based Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). The five members of the board of governors, who each have a three-year tenure, review and approve the annual CAISO budget, shape policies and approve grid planning and market design changes, according to the agency’s website.
Energy Experts Debate Bills That Would Change Who Manages the State’s Power Grid, by Sarah El Safty, Oakland North, October 3, 2017.