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Bill to limit clean-power agencies fails

A bill that would have limited the size of community-based power providers like Sonoma Clean Power died in the state Senate early Saturday.

Assembly Bill 2145 did not receive a vote in the Senate by the end of the legislative session. The bill would have limited the size of community choice power agencies to three contiguous counties. Sonoma Clean Power became the second such public agency in the state when it began serving customers in May.

An earlier version of AB 2145, which was supported by PG&E and a union of electrical workers, contained a provision that would have required potential customers to opt in to join the program. That provision was removed as the bill advanced through the legislative process.

Environmental groups and business opposed to AB 2145 celebrated the bill’s defeat Saturday.

“Regarding community choice, you know you are on to something good when the corporate utilities spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to stop it,” said Ann Hancock, executive director of the Santa Rosa-based Climate Protection Campaign. “We recognized immediately the serious threat that AB 2145 posed, so we acted, and it has paid off. We are now very eager to continue helping to develop clean energy community choice programs across the state.”

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