One of two energy bills passed this week by the state?s legislative energy committees aims to assert the state?s authority over the siting of liquefied natural gas facilities. The other measure attempts to increase the odds of turning waste gas into electricity. Passed on a 6-3 vote along partisan lines was Senate Concurrent Resolution 40, which would insist that Congress recognize that state and local jurisdictions? authority over LNG permitting is equal to that of the federal government. SCR 40 ?sends a message to Congress that California matters and our cities matter,? said author Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) at a May 3 Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee hearing. The three committee Republicans voted against the measure. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives approved HR 6, a part of which would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exclusive siting authority over LNG permitting. If passed by the Senate, the federal legislation would undermine the pending California Public Utilities Commission case asserting that it has jurisdiction on a par with FERC. ?HR 6 will have far-reaching consequences for California?s pristine beaches and coastlines, and all Californians,? Lowenthal warned. Another bill, which was watered down, intends to increase the ability to use waste gas produced during oil production to produce off-grid power. Senator Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) chided the bill?s author, Senator Mike Machado (D-Linden), for offering a bill with no teeth and agreeing to strip out the provision that would have boosted the amount of distributed generation to 40 MW. Machado?s SB 1048 expresses merely an intent to harness waste gas to produce electricity and decrease burning off or flaring gas to reduce air pollution.