This year\u2019s effort to have large hydropower count toward the state\u2019s 33 percent renewable standard met the same fate as similar bills from previous sessions. It failed to muster sufficient votes to pass out of the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee April 22. Several other bills, including ones to clean up and reduce energy use at ports and allow permit fees to match inflation, were passed by the panel this week. \tAssemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) authored AB 762 to expand the renewable eligibility of hydropower projects to include those with capacities greater than 30 MW. He urged the committee to qualify all \u201cclean energy resources\u201d towards the renewables mandate, not just hydro 30 MW and under. \tKent Kauss, Pacific Gas & Electric lobbyist, said the bill bolsters the \u201cunlucky raindrop that falls in a 30 MW dam.\u201d The legislation would help those drops \u201cget over their inferiority complex,\u201d he added with a nearly straight face. \tOpponents warned the bill would gut the renewable mandate, which seeks to build in-state solar, wind and other alternative energy projects. \tIndependent Energy Producers\u2019 policy analyst Amber Riesenhuber warned that passage of the bill would create a wealth transfer from California to utilities in the northwest because of large hydro portfolios. \tThe bill failed on a 5-4 vote. \tContinuing down the legislative lane early this week were the following: * AB 628, sponsored by Sempra Energy and SoCal Gas, seeks to reduce and clean up energy use at ports and harbor districts to lower greenhouse gases and improve competiveness. The bill, passed on a 13-0 vote, by Assemblymember Jeff Gorrell (R-Camarillo) allows ports to tap into the California Infrastructure Development Bank to fund energy improvements carried out in accordance with energy management plans developed with an electric or gas utility. It also aims to advance the state carbon dioxide reduction goal under AB 32, the state\u2019s climate protection law. * Passed on an 8-5 vote was AB 1409, allowing the California Public Utilities Commission to increase its fee for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity applications to factor in the rate of inflation. Since 1969, this permit fee has been $75, resulting in a cost shift from the utility or other developer to ratepayers. This committee bill passed on an 8-5 vote. * AB 340 by committee chair Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) applies diversity reporting requirements to the California Public Utilities Commission Electric Program Investment Charge program. That program amounts to $162 million a year and replaces the Public Interest Energy Research program at the Energy Commission, which was funded by a \u201cpublic goods\u201d charge on utility bills before it expired. AB 340 passed on an 8-4 vote. * AB 1073 by Assemblymember Norma Torres (D-Chino) aims to facilitate utility workers\u2019 ability to respond quickly to emergencies and disasters. Under the measure, utility workers\u2019 badges would include insignias to allow them to access utility poles, pipes and wires\u2014be it to shut off fuel feeding a burst gas pipe, downed power lines or a broken water main, or to restore service. The Office of Emergency Services is charged with developing by January 2015 the universal insignia. * AB 1407, by the committee itself, requires the CPUC\u2014which consults with the state grid operator on resource adequacy requirements for utilities to ensure supply adequacy\u2014also to consult with the Energy Commission.