Offshore Wind, Solar Along San Diego Highways and More: Some Key Energy Bills Heading to Newsom’s Desk

Gavin Newsom better have a big desk.

Of more than 2,600 bills introduced in the legislative session that wrapped up late last week, about 840 managed to navigate their way through the Assembly and Senate. The bills that survived the legislative gauntlet now await their respective fates at the hand of the governor, who has an Oct. 13 deadline to sign them into law or veto them.

Here’s a look at some of the noteworthy energy bills Newsom will consider:

A late provision by outgoing Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, included a proposed pumped hydroelectric storage project at San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside to the list of potential projects that AB 1373 helps facilitate.

If constructed, the San Vicente project will pump water from the existing reservoir to a smaller reservoir (still to be constructed) and then generate emissions-free electricity by sending the water back downhill.

Newsom Signs Bills to Speed up Infrastructure Projects

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills Monday aimed at streamlining the construction of solar and wind farms, reservoirs, bridges, railways and other infrastructure projects in the Golden State.

California Water Tunnel Hangs Over Budget Talks as Legislators Challenge Gov. Newsom’s Plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing the state Legislature to tackle what has long been one of the biggest gripes about government: Taking far too long to build things like roads and bridges.

But Newsom’s plan to cut through red tape has slowed in the state Legislature, where some lawmakers fear his true motive is to favor a single project — the long-delayed and long-disputed plan to build a giant tunnel to re-route how the state moves water from north to south. The tunnel reflects the tension between arid Southern California, where most of the people live, and Northern California, the source of most of the state’s water.

Newsom Relaxes California Drought Rules

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday relaxed drought rules in California amid a winter season filled with atmospheric river storms, flooding and a massive Sierra Nevada snowpack — soaking conditions that followed three dry, grueling years that had been marked by water shortages, extreme wildfires and heat waves.

Water Authority Offers Water Saving Tips on CBS 8

As the current drought stretches into a third year, the San Diego County Water Authority is providing water saving tips as part of a drought survival kit to San Diegans. San Diegans have learned how to conserve water, but there is always more we can do. Water Authority Water Resources Specialist Efren Lopez joined CBS 8 Anchor/Reporter Carlo Cecchetto on the news program “The Four” to discuss Gov. Newsom’s new water portfolio strategy and offer additional ways San Diegans can reduce water use.

Newsom Declares Drought Emergency Across California

Gov. Gavin Newsom today declared a drought emergency for the entire state of California, as conservation efforts continue to fall far short of state targets.

Newsom also authorized California’s water regulators to ban wasteful water use, such as spraying down public sidewalks, and directed his Office of Emergency Services to fund drinking water as needed. But he stopped short of issuing any statewide conservation mandates.

“As the western U.S. faces a potential third year of drought, it’s critical that Californians across the state redouble our efforts to save water in every way possible,” Newsom said in a statement.

Opinion: Newsom Must Not Play Politics With His Response to California’s Water Shortage

When it comes to water supplies in California and the U.S. Southwest, the news has been remarkably grim in recent weeks.

With Drought Worsening, How Close is Southern California to Strict Water Restrictions?

Unlike other parts of the state, Southern California has avoided the worst of the drought-inspired water restrictions because of ample supplies. But that could be changing.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on Tuesday issued a supply alert, calling on the region to conserve vital resources and prepare for continued drought.

Opinion: California Drought Declaration is a Difficult Dance

Gov. Gavin Newsom made headlines last week when he declared a drought emergency for our severely dry state — but only in two of California’s 58 counties, Mendocino and Sonoma. Some farmers in the Central Valley and others with water interests had hoped for a statewide edict.

Opinion: After COVID-19, Drought Threat Still Looms

California is enveloped in balmy weather that’s more like spring than mid-winter — and that’s not a good thing. We have seen only scant rain and snow this winter, indicating that the state may be experiencing one of its periodic droughts and adding another layer of crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. The all-important Sierra snowpack, California’s primary source of water, is scarcely half of what is deemed a normal depth.