With few exceptions, lawmakers May 2 voted on party lines to move bills to clarify greenhouse gas reductions and land use for renewable energy in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. Aiming to use financial leverage for expanding a \u201cgreen\u201d economy, AB 796 by Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-Van Nuys) seeks to implement the state\u2019s greenhouse gas reduction law by working with lenders to \u201ccreate more manufacturing in California.\u201d The legislation uses a small business lending program (CalCAP) to encourage banks to loan money for \u201cgreen\u201d business. The California Pollution Control Financing Authority may help underwrite the financing. This bill, and the legislation noted below, passed. They\u2019re now at the Assembly Appropriations Committee. AB 796\u2019s vote was 6-3. AB 644 by Blumenfield attempts to use the California Energy Commission and Google Earth to track down parcels of land to site renewable energy projects. The bill leverages the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency\u2019s \u201cRE-Powering Land\u201d program to encourage brownfield sites for renewable energy projects. \u201cIt lays the groundwork to open new locations,\u201d said Blumenfield, for lands that \u201ccan\u2019t be used\u201d otherwise. \u201cIt lays the groundwork to work with the federal government,\u201d said committee chair Assemblymember Wes Chesbro (D-North Coast). The bill passed 6-3 with opponents invoking the cost to ratepayers. They also questioned manufacturers getting subsidies and then subsequently moving to another state. In another land-for-energy move, AB 982 by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) is set to facilitate the use of \u201cpatchwork\u201d land parcels to site renewable energy parcels. The land is owned by disparate entities, like the state and federal governments, according to Skinner. \u201cThey may have great potential for solar and wind, but are difficult to put together,\u201d she said. The legislation requires the state to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the federal Bureau of Land Management for land exchanges. The vote was 9-0. AB 723 by Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) extends the public goods charge for four years. That money is collected from investor-owned utilities\u2019 ratepayers for energy efficiency, renewables, and research projects. It\u2019s projected to cost ratepayers about $350 million\/year. The bill passed 6-2. The committee also approved AB 1303 by Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara), which would reauthorize public goods charge funding for the California Energy Commission\u2019s public interest research program through 2019. The program is due to expire at the end of this year. Williams said he is working to flesh out the bill in order to align the purposes of the Energy Commission program with today\u2019s public needs. The program--founded in 1996--is aimed largely at funding renewable energy research and development. To help craft a new mission statement for the remainder of the decade, Williams said he\u2019s running a \u201cstakeholder process\u201d involving the commission and others with an interest in energy policy. The vote on the bill was 6-3. Under the state\u2019s greenhouse gas reduction law, AB 880, by Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez (D-Indio), streamlines California environmental review for pollution control projects using a \u201cfocused\u201d Environment Impact Report. Environmental review for implementing California\u2019s greenhouse gas reduction law, AB 32, is currently in court over the California Air Resources Board environmental review (Current, April 29, 2011). AB 880 passed on an 8-1 vote. As the state moves toward implementing greenhouse gas reductions, the question of carbon dioxide offsets is the premise of AB 1285 by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes (D-Arleta). It\u2019s a vehicle for the state to clarify what it wants to define carbon offsets in regional markets. It aims to prevent double counting offset projects, like planting trees. Skinner said she recognizes that offsets are \u201ctricky,\u201d but inescapable in the greenhouse gas reduction market. This bill\u2019s vote was 6-3.