Score another one for enlightened people power: After a surge of opposition, led by members of East Area Progressive Democrats, the two authors of a troubling piece of statewide legislation, AB 1139, that would take away incentives for rooftop solar power and cut jobs installing panels on apartments and homes, have shelved the legislation for this year.
It’s a win for clean-energy advocates. More than 30 showed up Tuesday morning, June 1, on very short notice at the Echo Park office of Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo to protest her authorship of AB 1139, along with San Diego Democrat Lorena González. Attendees included youth upset by a bill they saw as backsliding on the shift away from fossil fuels. Several attendees expressed frustration amidst a worsening drought and other glaring impacts of global climate change at having to push a lawmaker from Los Angeles to support green jobs and Californians’ progress on renewable energy goals.
The next day the bill went down to defeat in the state Assembly, with just 27 votes of the 41 needed for passage. Sponsors withdrew it on June 3. It could still slither back to the floor in different form later this session or next year. “This bill was a transgression,” said EAPD president Hans Johnson, who attended the protest. “It harmed ordinary people who count on consistent rewards from producing and contributing solar power back to the grid. It harmed good jobs installing rooftop solar throughout our state. And it hurt the environment the next generation inherits. They came out to stop the damage that AB 1139 would do. They will not forget, and neither should the voters of Northeast L.A.”