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SB 412: Liquified Natural Gas Terminal Evaluation Act (2007)


SB 412 requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to conduct a needs assessment of the energy market by projecting energy future supply and demand. The review will focus on projected demand while analyzing conservation and efficiency potential as well as the ability of the state to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy supplies. The assessment shall include a full life-cycle analysis of global climate change impacts for various types and sources of fossil fuel.

SB 412 requires the California Energy Commission to post on-line a matrix explaining the process each LNG applicant must follow to operate in California, as well as a comparison of environmental, market, and consumer protection benefits and problems created by each proposed project.

SB 412 strengthens existing California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) provisions by requiring the lead agency to utilize the robust “Needs Assessment” analysis in evaluating the “No Project” alternative CEQA requires.

For more information, you can read the SB 412 "Fact Sheet" prepared by a member of Senator Simitian's staff.

Final Status and Text

SB 412 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Did not pass the Legislature

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information

Need for the bill:

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is an imported fossil fuel that poses unique safety concerns.  LNG spills can be accidental or the result of deliberate terrorist attack. An ignited vapor cloud or a large LNG pool fire can cause extensive damage to people and the environment.

There are five pending proposals to build liquefied natural gas terminals onshore and offshore CA. Each proposal differs significantly in terms of technological design, location, and impacts to public health, safety, the environment, military training and operations, and vulnerability to terrorist attack. 

There is much disagreement over the need for LNG supplies to meet future energy demands in California. Best conservation scenarios establish flat demand growth and 33% of energy supplies from renewable sources by 2020. This means 2/3 of energy needs will be met by fossil fuels. There is general agreement that in this mix – nuclear, coal, large hydro, oil and natural gas, that natural gas will be critical in meeting supplies and clean air goals. There is much disagreement however, about available domestic supplies and impacts of a large LNG plant located in Baja California on California markets. There is all conflict over life-cycle emissions of climate change gases from imported LNG.

There is no coherent process in place to compare and contrast the merits or drawbacks of pending LNG facility proposals. Under the current piecemeal permitting review each proposal is reviewed individually.

Under current law, the California Energy Commission issues a biennial energy report. The evidence collected to prepare this report is not subject to scrutiny or challenge by the public in determining whether inputs for supply, demand, conservation, or renewable energy are accurately analyzed.

News & Press Releases about SB 412

06/01/2012 - Senate Passes Simitian Bill To Protect Coastal Areas

05/18/2007 - Simitian Applauds Decision to Reject LNG Facility; Calls for Legislature to Adopt Review Criteria