(Sacramento, CA) – On Wednesday, April 20, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) successfully advanced three Lithium Valley legislative proposals out of key Assembly committees. AB 2851, Lithium Valley Office of Development, and AB 2929, Lithium Production Report, passed in the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy, while the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment approved AB 2903, California Workforce Development Board Salton Sea Geothermal Equitable Access Program. These committee victories came as U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm conducted a visit to the Salton Sea region, and upon the heels of Controlled Thermal Resources and Satevolt’s announced plans to build a 54 GWh Gigafactory in Imperial County.
“We are advancing our community-driven, Lithium Valley legislative agenda with increased momentum and support. The bills we successfully ushered out of committees would establish a dedicated Lithium Valley office within California’s Natural Resources Agency, support and protect local labor opportunities, and authorize an annual report on the public health, environmental, and economic impacts and benefits of producing lithium in Imperial County. We collaboratively crafted these bills to reflect the priorities, concerns, and direction of resident, labor, and stakeholder engagement efforts,” said Assemblymember Garcia.
“We must follow the growing Lithium Valley enthusiasm with community-driven, equity-based, legislative action to protect and optimize regional benefits as this new industry emerges. Here in California, we have been leading the charge, laying the policy groundwork to develop a domestic lithium supply chain in Imperial County that will help us achieve our groundbreaking electric vehicle and emission reduction goals while creating opportunities to address deep-set regional disparities and uplift the economic circumstances of our community. This is why we were so determined to create the Lithium Valley Commission to make sure residents, environmental justice organizations, and other local leaders held roles to guide this development, increase resident engagement, and identify supportive policy avenues.”
Garcia continued on to say, “We secured these key policy committee victories as more and more Lithium Valley opportunities come together for our region. As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Energy and the Assembly Select Committee on California’s Lithium Economy, we were excited by Controlled Thermal Resources announcing a first of its kind partnership with Statevolt to build a gigafactory in Imperial County that would help bring thousands of good-paying jobs to our region. We are also hopeful that Energy Secretary Granholm’s visit further indicates the federal government’s intent to follow California’s lead in prioritizing Salton Sea mitigation and supporting the area’s lithium potential.”