A controversial new law gives the California Energy Commission authority over clean energy projects and authorizes the Department of Water Resources to fund new energy sources and extend the life of existing power plants.

By Marc Campopiano, Nikki Buffa, Michael Navarrete-Carroll, Josh Bledsoe, and Kevin Homrighausen

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom and lawmakers negotiated and approved several “trailer bills” to the state’s $300 billion budget. One of these bills, Assembly Bill (AB) 205, which Governor Newsom signed into law on June 30, 2022, expands the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) authority under the Warren-Alquist Act to now cover solar, wind, and other select clean energy projects. The governor and lawmakers hope the expanded authority will streamline the environmental review and authorization process.