One of the common themes of this blog is that an energy crisis IS coming again, and California needs to do something about it. One element of having enough electricity is having the natural gas to fuel our power plants--and the only way to being new supplies online is by siting liquefied natural gas facilities in California.
Two pieces of legislation will be considered up in Sacramento tomorrow that get in the way of this. SB 426 creates a process by which the California Energy Commission would rank the various LNG projects--in late 2006. Problem is, many will have gone through their regular approval process, so this just delays it. In addition, the CEC has already established the "need" for LNG, and creates a competitive regulatory environment with winners and losers, rather than a free-market solution, where each company makes decisions on what best serves its interests.
SB 1003, which is linked to SB 426, creates a permitting process for LNG facilities and interlinked pipelines. But for each LNG facility, there already is a permitting process! Regulating LNG makes sense where regulated utilities are involved, to prevent monopoly power over the marketplace...but when independent energy companies want to build energy infrastructure in California, we should be tearing down barriers, not putting them up!