During a packed eight-hour hearing by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee April 29, measures freezing fracking, directing carbon cap-and-trade auction revenue and extending loan guarantees for solar retrofits passed. \tThe vying bills that advanced seeking to halt the practice of hydraulic fracking to produce oil and natural gas were: * AB 649 by Assemblymember Adrin Nazariam (D-Sherman Oaks). It passed 5-1. It temporarily halts fracking until its impacts are studied, including those associated with sending fresh water down wells to release oil or gas. * AB 1301 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) putting a moratorium on fracking to allow an \u201copen, honest and thoughtful dialogue of the inherent risks of hydraulic fracking,\u201daccording to the author. Fracking could recommence only after the Legislature passes a law approving the practice. The bill passed on a 5-3 vote. * AB 1323 by Assemblymember Holly Mitchel (D-Culver City) suspends fracking in the state while the heads of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency report the findings of a working group tasked with evaluating the safety issues related to the practice. It was approved on a 5-1 vote. \tBills on greenhouse gas trading also were before the committee. Large business organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers Association, opposed all measures directing carbon cap-and-trade auction revenues because of the ongoing legal challenges to the state market. * AB 26 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) directs that funds generated by the state\u2019s carbon trading auction be used for job training and to create prevailing wage jobs. It passed on a 6-3 vote. * AB 153, passed 9-0, also by Bonilla, directs the California Air Resources Board to develop a public and open framework for adding new offset protocols under the carbon trading program. * AB 527 by Assemblymember Beth Gaines (R-Roseville) seeks to shed sunlight on the workings of the non-profit, multi-jurisdiction WCI, Inc., which was created to support the state greenhouse gas trading market in conjunction with two Canadian provinces. It was approved on an 8-1 vote. * AB 1375, passed on a 6-3 vote, by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Alhambra) directs that cap-and-trade auction funds be invested in clean energy technologies to lower carbon emissions and create jobs. \tAlso approved by the committee was AB 1131 by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland). It extends and expands the state program that offers loan guarantees for renewable and efficiency residential upgrades. Financing from the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority is extended out two years to2017. Also eligible for the retrofit loans are residences of four units or less. It passed on a 9-0 vote. \tSeveral other bills passed including: * AB 691 and 796 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) directing studies on expected sea rise. Both were approved 6-2. * AB 834 by Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) giving the Energy Commission the authority to enforce its green building standards. It passed 6-3. * AB 1257 by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) requiring the Energy Commission to develop long-term natural gas plans that assess the fuel\u2019s economic and environmental benefits. It passed 8-0. \tBills reforming the California Environmental Quality Act also were passed by the committee. CEQA applies to power projects. The bills at issue this week include: * AB 543 by Assemblymember Nora Campos (D-San Jose) seeking to help minority communities participate in the CEQA process for development projects. It directs the production of translations of summaries of project CEQA findings for non-English speaking residents of the state. The measure passed 6-3. * Assemblymember Susan Eggman\u2019s (D-Stockton) AB 823 allowing the permanent protection of farmland to count as mitigation under the environmental Act. It passed 6-3.