Town and country politics collided in the Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee July 3. Authored by Assemblymember Paul Fong (D-Mountain View), AB 1990 gives priority to feed-in tariffs--or guaranteed revenue streams--for projects located in \u201cdisadvantaged\u201d communities. It sets a goal of 188 MW for such small projects less than 500 kW, according to Fong. \u201cWe\u2019re very very concerned,\u201d said Michael Boccadoro, attorney for agricultural interests. \u201cThis creates a grave impact to feed-in tariffs,\u201d he added. Utility representatives called the legislation \u201cduplicative\u201d of what the California Public Utilities Commission is doing with feed-in tariffs and its attention to low-income communities. The bill passed 7-3. Also controversial was AB 1456 by Assemblymember Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). The legislation permits the CPUC to fine utilities for safety violations through new rates. \u201cI\u2019m loath to do ratemaking in statute,\u201d said Sen. Rod Wright (D-Inglewood). Legislators on the panel agreed with Wright\u2019s assessment, noting the commission\u2019s authority already includes the power to set fines. The bill passed 9-0. Non-controversial bills passed in Senate committee were: AB 1650 by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada-Flintridge) calls for utilities to meet with customers every two years to discuss emergencies and how to avoid them. The bill passed 10-0. AB 1850 by Assemblymember Charles Calderon (D-City of Industry), aimed at consumer electronics, requires the California Energy Commission to use the most current data in evaluating efficiency. The bill was left open to \u201cnoodle it a bit,\u201d as chair Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Van Nuys) said. It passed 7-1. AB 2227 by Assemblymember Steve Bradford (D-Inglewood) changes reporting dates for utilities to divulge their alternative energy and efficiency program results to the Energy Commission from every three years to every four years. It\u2019s intended to align data with the commission\u2019s Integrated Energy Policy Report to the Legislature. The vote was 8-0. AB 2249 by Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) is aimed at energy savings at school swimming pools. It allows an unused $250 million in a CPUC program to be used for solar water heater investments. It passed 10-0. AB 2514 by Bradford requires net-metering data for full cost evaluation to be completed by the CPUC by this time next year. The solar industry opposes the bill on the premise that there are already ongoing studies. Bradford questioned the opposition if they\u2019re \u201cfearful of data.\u201d He said the bill simply asks for the costs and benefits of net metering to ratepayers. The vote was 7-2.