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Alternative Fuels Bill Passes California Assembly
Assembly Member Fran Pavley with the E2 biofuels team. From left to right: Eric Bowen, Anna Halpern-Lande, Assembly Member Fran Pavley, Legislative Assistant Adrienne Alvold, Marc Stolman, Bob Epstein, and Steve MacKay (not pictured).
By a significant margin of 49 to 27, the California Assembly passed the Alternative Fuels Bill (AB 1007 Pavley). NRDC and E2 sponsored the bill, which would start the process of diversifying California's transportation fuels away from petroleum. The California Senate will consider the legislation in the next few weeks and, if approved, it will go to the Governor's desk for signature at the end of the summer. (The bill could return to the Assembly if amendments are made in the Senate.)

AB 1007 represents more than nine months' work by a dedicated group of E2 volunteers who met with almost half of the Assembly over a period of three months. The final push occurred when the bill had only 35 votes on the first floor vote. E2 members were in Sacramento the next morning to meet with 12 assembly members to determine what amendments could secure the missing votes. This information was given back to the author, Assembly Member Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), for her consideration. The final vote was overwhelmingly positive.

E2 is especially pleased with the significant bipartisan support for the bill as Assembly Members Shirley Horton (R-Chula Vista) and Keith Richman (R-Los Angeles) both provided strong backing for the legislation.

With consistently high fuel prices and a growing need to address the problem of greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles, AB 1007 is a bill whose time has come. By encouraging the development and distribution of fuels that are not based on petroleum, we expect to see a variety of fuel alternatives, from biofuels (made from agricultural products) to electricity (plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles) to natural gas. We expect these fuels to compete both on price and on superior environmental performance.

Our work was made possible by the volunteer E2 members who did research and attended nearly 100 meetings. Our thanks go to Eric Bowen, Anna Halpern-Lande, Steve MacKay and Marc Stolman. We also thank NRDC's staff who worked hard to advocate for this bill, Ann Notthoff, Roland Hwang, Luke Tonachel, Diane Bailey and Victoria Rome.

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