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Western Electrical Grid Bill Sparks Debate As It Clears Hurdle

Sacramento, CA — A close and crucial vote by a California Senate panel has pushed ahead a contentious proposal to link oversight of California’s electric grid with other western states.

Today’s Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee vote keeps alive a plan that has sparked debate between environmentalists about the best way to grow renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, which has been greatly expanded in the state. However, that has carried along with it new challenges for grid operators to oversee supply and demand as weather patterns and sunlight vary.

Those in favor of the bill argue that regionalizing the grid would make it easier and cheaper to use renewables to meet energy demand across the west. Critics counter that it could allow President Donald Trump’s energy appointees to threaten California’s aggressive efforts to broaden the use of renewables.

Whether other states’ grid operators desire to link up with California’s system is unclear.