It is exciting to see the progress that has been made the last decade in low-carbon and renewable energy – both in technology and affordability. Through free-market forces we are seeing a transition to more renewables. I believe attempts to make this transition overnight by imposing strict arbitrary deadlines risks our economy and places the cost burden squarely on those that can least afford it – low income and elderly individuals. Unfortunately, through the passage of the so called “Clean Economy Act,” California vehicle emissions standards and other energy related legislation, we know that costs for consumers are going to rise significantly in the coming years. These impacts will be disproportionally felt by low and middle-income families as well as industry sectors like manufacturing that are already struggling to survive – thus placing good paying jobs at risk.

Rather than costly mandates with arbitrary deadlines, I believe the solution is to incentivize clean energy development and remove artificial barriers that may exist. This is why I was pleased to support the “Solar Freedom” legislation last year that eliminated a number of utility company protections that acted to discourage community solar development. For the last few years, I’ve also served as Chief Co-Patron on a bill to incentivize solar development on reclaimed mine lands and brownfields, rather than prime farmland.