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California Legislature

Key lawmaker says California energy legislation will hold until next year

Assemblyman Chris Holden, left, says more work is needed on energy legislation. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Assemblyman Chris Holden, left, says more work is needed on energy legislation. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Ambitious legislation on clean energy and regional electricity cooperation won't advance until next year, said Assemblyman Chris Holden, a key committee chairman.

"Every piece of legislation needs work," he said in an interview on Wednesday.

Holden (D-Pasadena) is directly involved in two controversial energy measures. He authored legislation, Assembly Bill 762, that contains a proposal from Gov. Jerry Brown to lay the groundwork for a regional electricity grid. A separate proposal, Senate Bill 100 from Senate leader Kevin de León, for phasing out fossil fuels for electricity is currently pending in the utilities and energy committee that Holden chairs.

He said both measures should be considered as part of a "comprehensive conversation" next year. 

The legislative session ends Friday, and the deadline for amending the measures was Tuesday night. Changes that might be needed to assuage various concerns from utilities, unions and lawmakers were not made.

"There's not a lot of time for the engagement we need to make it work," Holden said. He also said there wasn't enough support in the Assembly to pass the energy legislation.

De León (D-Los Angeles) said during a brief interview in the Capitol that nothing was final.

"It's too early to tell," he said when asked if the legislation stood a chance during the last few days.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said it was up to Holden whether the measures advance. 

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