BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                              1
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                SENATE ENERGY, UTILITIES AND COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
                                 ALEX PADILLA, CHAIR
          

          AB 222 -  Adams/Ma                                Hearing Date:   
          June 30, 2009              A
          As Amended:         May 28, 2009             FISCAL       B
                                                                        
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                                      DESCRIPTION
           
           Current law  requires retail sellers of electricity to meet 20  
          percent of sales from eligible renewable resources by December  
          31, 2010.  This is known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard  
          (RPS).

           Current law  defines renewable resources eligible under the RPS  
          as biomass, solar thermal, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, fuel  
          cells using renewable fuels, small hydroelectric generation,  
          digester gas, municipal solid waste conversion, landfill gas,  
          ocean wave, ocean thermal, or tidal current.

           This bill  would count as eligible under the RPS a "biorefinery"  
          which includes the conversion of solid waste to gas by specified  
          noncombustion technologies as long as the biorefinery conforms  
          to existing air and water quality laws.

           This bill  makes other significant policy changes to the  
          Integrated Waste Manage Act relative to gasification,  
          transformation and waste diversion requirements.
           
                                     BACKGROUND
           
           Renewable Portfolio Standard  - The RPS was adopted in 2002 with  
          a primary goal of reducing air emissions from electricity  
          generation to improve public health.  To achieve that goal the  
          state's investor-owned (IOU) and publicly owned utilities (POU),  
          along with other retail electricity providers, are required to  
          procure 20 percent of electricity sales from specified renewable  
          resources. Since that time more than 900 megawatts of new  
          renewable generation has been brought on-line by the state's  











          IOUs.  Nearly 6,700 MW of renewable generation has been  
          contracted to come online in the coming years.

           Greenhouse Gas Reductions  - In 2006 California adopted landmark  
          legislation which mandated that the state would reduce emissions  
          from greenhouse gases (GHG) to 1990 levels by 2020, a reduction  
          of approximately 30 percent.  The main strategies for making  
          these reductions are outlined in the Scoping Plan of the  
          implementing agency, the California Air Resources Board (ARB),  
          adopted in December of 2008.  The ARB's Scoping Plan expects  
          that the electric industry will contribute at least 40 percent  
          of the total GHG reductions by 2020 from direct mandatory  
          approaches including a 33 percent RPS.
           
           Solid Waste Conversion  - The term "conversion technologies"  
          refers to a wide variety of different technologies that heat or  
          "cook" solid waste in order to reduce its volume, using the  
          byproduct to produce energy or other new products.  Conversion  
          technologies include pyrolysis and gasification.  These  
          technologies heat solid waste at extremely high temperatures  
          (over 1300F in gasification) to produce gas and liquid residues  
          that are typically burned to produce energy.  Biochemical  
          conversion processes use acid or enzymatic processes to split  
          the chemical bonds of the feedstock (in this case solid waste).   
          Resulting sugars can be fermented to make ethanol for fuel, and  
          acids for industrial uses.  All of these technologies produce  
          toxic air pollutants.  

                                       COMMENTS
           
              1.   Authors Intent  - According to the author, the purpose of  
               this bill is to encourage the production of low-cost  
               biofuels and green power by converting municipal solid  
               waste into a fuel source that can be used to produce  
               renewable electricity.  The author and supporters believe  
               these goals can be achieved by permitting solid waste  
               conversion facilities that convert municipal solid waste  
               into electricity to count toward a utility's RPS and by  
               creating incentives for local governments to fuel the  
               conversion facilities with solid waste fuel stocks. 

               The author has proposed to include a technology that is GHG  
               emitting.  This is contrary to the intent of the RPS  
               program and the goals of the ARB in calling for a 33% RPS  










               mandate to reach the state's GHG reduction goals. 

               The author states that a primary goal of the bill is to  
               enable biorefineries "to be permitted under the same  
               provisions as are required for other manufacturing  
               facilities."  Modifying the eligibility of solid waste  
               conversion under the RPS will not impact the permitting of  
               a biorefinery.  The author may wish to consider further  
               researching the issue to determine what those manufacturing  
               barriers are.

              2.   Solid Waste Conversion Counts Under RPS  - Current law  
               (Public Resources Code Section 25741(b)(3)), which the  
               author is proposing to repeal, defines solid waste  
               conversion using noncombustion technologies as an eligible  
               resource under the RPS program.  The primary difference  
               between current law and the modified definition proposed in  
               this bill is that "discharges of air contaminants or  
               emissions, including greenhouse gases as defined in Section  
               38505 of the Health and Safety Code" are prohibited.  To be  
               RPS eligible this bill merely requires that the solid waste  
               conversion facility be in compliance with ARB and local air  
               pollution district air quality mandates.  The consequence  
               of this is that the author defines as RPS eligible a  
               process and technology that is directly contrary to the  
               goal of the RPS, and all other eligible technologies under  
               the RPS, thereby undermining the fundamental purpose of the  
               RPS - to reduce air emissions.

               The sponsor reports that "independently-verified emissions  
               test result show that thermochemical conversion  
               technologies are able to meet existing local, state and  
               federal emissions limits."  However, compliance with air  
               quality laws is not the issue presented by this bill.  The  
               issue is whether an emissions producing technology should  
               be an eligible resource in the RPS program which is  
               intended to include technologies that are zero-emitting.

              3.   Implications for Integrated Waste Management Act  - This  
               bill makes significant changes to waste diversion policy  
               which is not analyzed here.  This bill has been also been  
               referred to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee  
               which will fully analyze those issues. 











              4.   Double Referral  - This bill has been double referred to  
               the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.  Due to time  
               constraints, if amendments are proposed in Committee these  
               amendments must be taken in the second Committee.

                                    ASSEMBLY VOTES
           
          Assembly Floor                     (54-13)
          Assembly Appropriations Committee  (14-1)
          Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee                       
          (11-0)

                                       POSITIONS
           
           Sponsor:
           
          BioEnergy Producers Association

           Support:
           

           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |adaptiveARC, Inc.               |Long Beach Coalition for a Safe |
          |BioEnergy Producers Association |Environment                     |
          |Biomass Coordinating Council    |Marin Sanitary Service          |
          |California Chamber of Commerce  |Miller De Wulf Corporation      |
          |California Farm Bureau          |North Valley Coalition          |
          |Federation                      |New Planet Energy, LLC          |
          |CA Manufacturers & Technology   |Orange County Board of          |
          |Association                     |Supervisors                     |
          |California State Association of |Pacific Gas and Electric        |
          |Counties                        |Company                         |
          |City of Bell                    |Phoenix Biomass Energy, Inc.    |
          |City of Glendale                |Redwood City Planning           |
          |City of Hawthorne               |Remediation Earth, Inc.         |
          |City of Pico Rivera             |Republic Services, Inc.         |
          |City of Vernon                  |San Bernardino County Board of  |
          |Clean Cities Coalition          |Supervisors                     |
          |Clements Environmental          |San Luis Obispo County          |
          |Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc.         |Integrated Waste                |
          |Global Energy, Inc.             |     Management Authority       |
          |ICM, Inc.                       |Sempra Energy                   |
          |INEOS Bio                       |Solid Waste Association of      |
          |International Union of          |North America                   |










          |Operating Engineers             |Southern California Edison      |
          |Interstate Waste Technologies   |Sustainable Conservation        |
          |LA County Board of Supervisors  |Ternion Bio Industries          |
          |LA County Solid Waste           |ThermoChem Recovery             |
          |Management                      |International, Inc.             |
          |     Committee                  |Theroux Environmental           |
          |                                |Waste To Energy, LLC            |
          |                                |Yolo County Board of            |
          |                                |Supervisors                     |
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           Oppose:
           

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          |Alameda Co. Waste Management    |Environment California          |
          |Authority &                     |Environmental Defense Fund      |
          |     Recycling Board            |Global Alliance for Incinerator |
          |Breathe California              |Alternatives                    |
          |Californians Against Waste      |Global Anti-Incinerator         |
          |CA League of Conservation       |Alliance                        |
          |Voters Council                  |GreenAction                     |
          |CA Resource Recovery            |Natural Resources Defense       |
          |Association                     |Council                         |
          |Center for Biological Diversity |Planning and Conservation       |
          |Clean Water Action              |League                          |
          |Coalition for Clean Air         |Sierra Club California          |
          |                                |                                |
          |                                |                                |
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          Kellie Smith 
          AB 222 Analysis
          Hearing Date:  June 30, 2009