When we last wrote about AB 2145 it was after a trip to Sacramento to speak out against the bill at the Senate Energy Committee hearing on it. We told the bill’s author, Assemblyman Stephen Bradford that we wanted to bring Community Choice Power to the South Bay, especially cities like Inglewood and Gardena, where lowering electricity bills will have a big impact on homeowners and business owners. We went home that day happy that the bill’s opt in provision had been removed.
But as it turns out we shouldn’t have been so pleased because AB 2145 was still alive and in its revised form now had three different ways to kill the current Community Choice programs in Marin County and Sonoma County, and to make sure no new Community Choice Power programs, like our own embryonic South Bay Clean Power efforts, can possibly succeed.
My politically connected friends (who prefer to remain nameless) advise me to accept State Senator Ted Lieu as he is and be happy for his strong environmental record.
They tell me to stop wishing he was somebody else and that I’m dreaming if I think he’s ever going to change into the dynamo that I fantasize about.
And I get that. You go to climate battle with the Ted Lieu you have, not the Ted Lieu you wished you had.
Yet still… I couldn’t stop thinking about it Wednesday night at St. Rocke’s in Hermosa Beach where I had gone to get away from it all and rock out to Jimmy Vaughan and his band. Luckily that totally did the trick as I downed one quadruple The Reverend after another, locking into the groove.
That night I slept like Rip Van Winkle himself, dead to the world and dreaming the vivid-as-life dreams that The Reverend, and the music, and the moment made possible.
And it all suddenly became clear to me.Suddenly we were at The Crossroads as Ted Lieu runs for Henry Waxman’s seat in the United States Congress. Waxman has been our heroic climate champion for many years now and is retiring. New, fresh, young, energetic blood is needed from a new champion at this special spot on the climate timeline – and Ted Lieu has now seized his moment and become that champion.
Everything he’s done in life has led to this unique time and place. And I could see Ted, bigger than life, looking strong, and determined and unstoppable. He was downright dynamic.
And the issue that Ted grabbed and commanded and was using to transform himself into a climate legend was Community Choice Aggregation.It was a natural for Ted and he knew it.
And right before my eyes Ted was making it his own and becoming positively evangelical about it.
This political primary season just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
Imagine my surprise on Friday afternoon when my cell phone rang and it was Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi on the line calling to tell me he had made a big mistake and that he was sorry.
He wanted me to know that he really regretted his YES vote two days earlier for AB 2145, the CAA Killer bill, which – Surprise! – was written by the big utilities to try and kill Community Choice Aggregation.
Al said he had been lied to about what the bill really says and does and that he didn’t really know anything about CCAs until a few weeks ago. He again said he was sorry, that he had dropped the ball on this one and that he was now going to lobby State Senator Ted Lieu to make sure the State Senate didn’t make the same mistake. What could I say? Al sounded sincere and remorseful…