August 28, 2020
The Honorable Richard Bloom
Sacramento, CA 94249
Dear Assemblymember Bloom:
On behalf of 3.3 million AARP members in California I am writing to express strong opposition to AB 1659 (Bloom), the Wildfire Revenue Bond bill. AARP opposes AB 1659 for multiple reasons. First, this bill sets a dangerous precedent by using utility ratepayers as a funding source for unrelated state expenditures. In addition, while AARP has long advocated holding the CPUC and utility companies accountable for investing in wildfire prevention and mitigation efforts, we do not believe that all of the fiscal burden should fall on California’s ratepayers, who already pay some the highest electric rates in the nation.
Furthermore, AARP supported AB1054, which the Legislature passed in 2019, and which mandates that utility customers will contribute $13 billion to financing costs to the California Wildfire Insurance Fund. We do not support placing additional financial burdens on ratepayers.
Finally, using investor-owned utility rates to pay for non-utility-related wildfire mitigation would have a disproportionate impact on low-income Californians. Older adults, many of whom are on fixed incomes, already struggle to pay for food, housing, utilities, and healthcare costs, and some are forced to choose between paying for groceries and paying for air conditioning or heat.
We urge you prevent this bill from going any further in the legislative process.
Should you have any questions, please contact Blanca Castro, Advocacy Director, at 916-556-3021 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AARP to Legislators: NO on AB 1659: No More Rate Hikes
August 28, 2020