BILL NUMBER: AB 148	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member V. Manuel Pérez

                        JANUARY 18, 2013

   An act to add Chapter 8.65 (commencing with Section 25752) to
Division 15 of the Public Resources Code, relating to renewable
energy.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 148, as introduced, V. Manuel Pérez. Renewable energy: Salton
Sea.
   Existing law requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and
Development Commission to administer the Renewable Energy Resources
Program to increase the amount of electricity generated by renewable
electricity generation resources per year so that the amount equals
at least 33% of total retail sales of electricity in California by
December 31, 2020.
   Existing law establishes the Salton Sea Restoration Fund that is
administered by the Director of Fish and Game and, upon appropriation
by the Legislature, used for the restoration of the Salton Sea.
   This bill would require the Secretary of the Natural Resources
Agency, in consultation and coordination with the Salton Sea
Authority, to establish a Salton Sea Renewable Energy and Biofuel
Research and Development Program in the Salton Sea basin to meet
high-priority economic and environmental goals by providing grants to
facilitate research and the commercial development of renewable
energy and biofuel resources. The bill would further authorize the
secretary, in consultation and coordination with the authority, to
provide grants to eligible research institutions and commercial
enterprises for research and demonstration projects leading to the
commercial development of the Salton Sea's vast renewable energy and
biofuel resources. To be eligible for a grant, the bill would require
a commercial enterprise for a demonstration project to agree to a
royalty or other revenue arrangement. The bill would require
royalties and revenues received to be deposited into the Salton Sea
Restoration Fund. The bill would require the secretary by July 1,
2014, to initiate the rulemaking process for the program and a
process for the application, review, and issuance of grants.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Chapter 8.65 (commencing with Section 25752) is added
to Division 15 of the Public Resources Code, to read:
      CHAPTER 8.65.  SALTON SEA RENEWABLE ENERGY AND BIOFUEL RESEARCH
AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM


   25752.  This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Salton
Sea Renewable Energy and Biofuel Research and Development Program.
   25752.1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

   (a) The Salton Sea is California's largest lake, covering 365
square miles, and it serves as an important stop on the annual
Pacific Flyway migratory route, supporting over 400 species of birds
and representing over two-thirds of all birds in the continental
United States.
   (b) Until recently, the amount of water entering the Salton Sea
was roughly balanced by the amount of water evaporating from its
broad surface.
   (c) In 2003, the Legislature enacted legislation implementing the
Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA), a water transfer agreement
between the Imperial Irrigation District and the San Diego
Metropolitan Water District, that represented the largest
agriculture-to-urban water transfer in the history of the United
States.
   (d) Under the QSA, the state agreed to cover the cost of
mitigating the effects of the water transfer on the Salton Sea beyond
the first one hundred thirty-three million dollars ($133,000,000) in
costs.
   (e) According to an analysis by the Pacific Institute, by 2018,
reduced water inflows to the sea will reduce the sea's depth by five
feet, resulting in the exposure of 26.5 square miles of currently
submerged lake bed. By 2037, the sea's depth will drop by up to 27
feet, resulting in the exposure of 134 square miles of lake bed.
   (f) From 1913 to 1924, inclusive, a similar rural-to-urban water
transfer occurred when the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
(LADWP) began exporting water from Owens Lake to Los Angeles. After
only 11 years, LADWP had successfully drained all but a fraction of
Owens Lake, exposing over 100 square miles of lake bed.
   (g) For decades, the winds blowing across the exposed lake bed of
Owens Lake eroded fine-grained sediments and salts, lofting them into
the air, creating the single largest source of fugitive dust in the
United States.
   (h) Since 1998, LADWP has spent one billion two hundred million
dollars ($1,200,000,000) to stem dust pollution in Owens Valley
mainly by flooding a 40-square-mile area of exposed lake bed at a
cost of 30 billion gallons of water a year.
   (i) In 2012, the State Air Resources Board upheld an additional
order by the Great Basin Air District that required LADWP to flood an
additional three square miles of exposed lake bed at an estimated
cost of four hundred million dollars ($400,000,000). LADWP has
appealed the state's order in federal court.
   (j) Considering that LADWP will likely spend up to one billion six
hundred million dollars ($1,600,000,000) to mitigate dust pollution
resulting from its draining of Owens Lake, and the likelihood that
mitigating dust pollution created by the Salton Sea will be
substantially more expensive because up to 135 square miles of lake
bed will be exposed as compared to only 100 square miles at Owens
Lake. The creation of the Salton Sea Renewable Energy and Biofuel
Research and Development Program will enable the creation of a
dedicated and continuous funding stream to mitigate dust pollution
resulting from the QSA.
   (k) The creation of the Salton Sea Renewable Energy and Biofuel
Research and Development Program will also encourage the development
of one of the state's largest sources of renewable energy and provide
a significant source of future revenue for the restoration of the
Salton Sea in the form of royalties or other revenue sharing funds.
   25752.2.  (a) For the purposes of this section, "Salton Sea
Authority" means the joint powers authority comprised of the County
of Imperial, the County of Riverside, the Imperial Irrigation
District, the Coachella Valley Water District, and the Torres
Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indian Tribe.
   (b) The Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, in consultation
and coordination with the Salton Sea Authority, shall establish a
Salton Sea Renewable Energy and Biofuel Research and Development
Program to meet high-priority economic and environmental goals by
providing grants to facilitate research and the commercial
development of renewable energy and biofuel resources in the Salton
Sea basin.
   (c) The secretary, in consultation and coordination with the
Salton Sea Authority, may provide grants to eligible research
institutions and commercial enterprises for research and development
projects and demonstration projects intended to lead to the
commercial development of the Salton Sea's renewable energy and
biofuel resources pursuant to this section. The projects shall be
sited within the Salton Sea basin, as designated by the secretary.
Demonstration projects by commercial enterprises and research
institutions shall do all of the following:
   (1) Improve air quality by reducing criteria and toxic air
pollutants, including fine particulates originating from the dry sea
bed.
   (2) Improve water quality in the Salton Sea that will stabilize
marine habitats for fish and migratory birds.
   (3) Present new options for the state's restoration plan of the
Salton Sea.
   (4) Demonstrate the scalability of renewable energy and biofuel
resources at the Salton Sea, including the following:
   (A) Agricultural algae cultivation and production.
   (B) Geothermal resource extraction and associated byproducts.
   (C) Desalination technologies.
   (D) Solar and wind development.
   (5) Demonstrate the proposed project will have economic and job
creating benefits for the Salton Sea basin.
   (d) The secretary shall initiate the rulemaking process for the
Salton Sea Renewable Energy and Biofuel Research and Development
Program and a process for the application, review, and issuance of
grants under subdivision (c) no later than July 1, 2014.
   (e) A commercial enterprise, to be eligible for a grant under
subdivision (c) for a demonstration project, shall meet all of the
following requirements:
   (1) Be incorporated as a business authorized to do business in the
state.
   (2) Provide matching funds for the proposed project.
   (3) Certify use of state funds solely for the proposed project
sited within the state.
   (4) Demonstrate the proposed project will have substantial
environmental and economic benefits to the Salton Sea basin region.
   (5) Identify a customer or customers for the product to be
developed.
   (6) Agree to a royalty or other revenue sharing arrangement
ensuring the state's ongoing financial participation in commercially
viable operations authorized under the Salton Sea Renewable Energy
and Biofuel Research and Development Program.
   (f) A research institution, to be eligible for a grant under
subdivision (c) for a research and development project, shall meet
all of the following requirements:
   (1) Be a nonprofit or educational research institution or
consortium.
   (2) Provide matching funds for the proposed project.
   (3) Certify use of state funds solely for the proposed project
sited within the state.
   (4) Demonstrate how the proposed project will help lead to the
commercial development of the Salton Sea's vast renewable energy and
biofuel resources.
   (5) Demonstrate the proposed project will have substantial
environmental and economic benefits to the Salton Sea basin region.
   (g) Royalties and revenues collected by the state pursuant to
paragraph (6) of subdivision (e) shall be deposited in the Salton Sea
Restoration Fund.