Gov. Gavin Newsom signs off on new commission to study Salton Sea lithium extraction

Source: Desert Sun

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday added his signature to a new law that orders the formation of a commission to study the feasibility of lithium extraction around the Salton Sea. Local politicians hope the commission will lead to the creation of a green economy around the state's largest lake, which is a geothermal hotspot.

It was one of several bills focused on California's environment that Newsom dealt with this week.

Sponsored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, AB1657 will create a "Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California" to study the area around the Salton Sea. Lithium is a key component in powerful batteries and geothermal is a renewable energy source.

“In addition to helping meet our clean energy goals, this commission could serve as a valuable lever of our state’s economic recovery strategy,” Garcia said in a statement. “The passage of AB 1657 is a major victory for our region, especially for our most impoverished communities who would benefit from the jobs a competitive lithium industry will bring to our area.