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Affordable Energy and Water

Reckless laws and wasteful policies are driving up your energy and water bills

In 2006, California passed a law known as AB 32, which was intended to prevent catastrophic global warming.

Apparently, Sacramento politicians believe global warming is caused by an excess of dollars in your checking account.

AB 32 raised the target for renewable fuel use from 20 percent to 33 percent by the year 2020. As a result, every utility in California had to go out and find providers of wind and solar energy, and they had to sign expensive long-term contracts in order to be in compliance with the new 33 percent requirement.

This has been driving up your utility bills by double digits, year after year. And it's only going to get worse.

While you're struggling to pay the DWP bill -- in the summertime in the Valley, it's like a human rights violation -- what are we accomplishing?

If California goes to 33 percent renewable fuels, and nobody else does, are we saving the earth? Are we affecting the climate?

Or are we just making California more expensive for residents and uncompetitive for businesses?

AB 32 also requires truckers to install very expensive filters on diesel engines to reduce particulate matter in the air. With the bill for those filters at over $15,000 per vehicle, the cost of moving goods by truck in California is now higher than it is in other states. This is brutalizing California truckers and companies that operate fleets. It's raising the cost of everything that moves by truck in California, including food. Yet only about 5 percent of the particulate matter in the air is attributable to diesel engines. About 40 percent drifts over from China. We are raising food costs, hurting low-income and middle-income families, and losing jobs. What are we accomplishing?

Another provision of AB 32 is the "cap and trade" requirement that forces businesses to pay for the right to "pollute" with greenhouse gases. The money extracted from businesses -- which is money that's not available to pay salaries -- goes into a fund that politicians divide up for pet projects. The latest budget agreement in Sacramento provides for $250 million from this fund to go to the bullet train, a $68 billion proposal.

On January 1, gasoline and diesel fuel will fall under the requirements of the "cap and trade" program, and we will be paying a price hike at the pump which is estimated at 12 to 20 cents per gallon. For what? Well, according to the budget deal in Sacramento, 25 percent of the money in the "cap and trade" fund is going to the bullet train. Every year.

Did you vote for that? Did your representative? (Yes, he did.)

The cost of electricity also has an impact on the cost of water, because Southern California's water is moved long distances with pumps. Yet the politicians and regulators who make decisions on our behalf have recklessly agreed to pour 30 billion gallons a year of drinking water on a dry lake bed to hold down dust.

Seriously. That's as much water as the entire city of San Francisco uses in a year. It's a Rose Bowl of drinking water every day.

Drinking water, in the middle of a drought, poured on the dry Owens Lake and billed to the ratepayers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

If you're a DWP customer in Los Angeles, about 20 percent of what you pay for water is going to pay for the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Project.


That's a very good question.

Who represents you in these decisions?

Susan Shelley for Assembly
FPPC ID #1355796
20121 Ventura Blvd., Suite 206
Woodland Hills, CA 91364