Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 • Dahle wins second term, named Legislator of the Year

District 1 Assemblyman Brian Dahle took the oath of office Monday, Dec. 1 for his second term, vowing to work for his constituents to protect rural health care systems, promote balanced use of our natural resources and fight job-killing taxes and regulations.

Brian Dahle takes the oath of office.

“I am humbled by the support of the voters in the First Assembly District,” said Dahle, who won more votes in the Nov. 4 election than any other candidate in the California Assembly’s 80 districts. “It’s an honor to represent the people of rural Northern California, and I’ll work every day to fight for their needs and give them a strong voice in Sacramento.”

Dahle’s top priority in the new term is ensuring dramatic recent changes in health care — including the Affordable Care Act, the expansion of Medi-Cal, and the transition of Medi-Cal into a managed-care system — don’t undermine the viability of rural medical systems.

“The small hospital districts and nonprofits that provide much of the critical-access care in the northeastern part of the state have always been lean operations, but changes in the medical system are making it more difficult than ever to recruit doctors and supply key services,” Dahle said. “California needs a medical system that meets the needs of the whole state.”

The assemblyman will also continue to promote sensible management of the North State’s forest resources to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires and protect communities while promoting jobs in the woods.

First elected to the assembly in 2012, Dahle continues to operate the family farm in Lassen County’s Big Valley. He lives in Bieber with his wife, Megan, and their three children.

Brian Dahle hard at work on the Assembly floor.

Legislator of the Year
The California Biomass Energy Association  named Dahle its 2014 Legislator of the Year, honoring his “outstanding leadership and contributions to the biomass industry of California.”

Dahle sponsored and won passage of Assembly Bill 2363, which Governor Jerry Brown signed in September. The law requires the California Public Utilities Commission to calculate and consider the cost of integrating weather-dependent renewable energy sources — especially wind and solar — into the power grid when it reviews utilities’ procurement plans. A more rigorous analysis of the full costs of different renewable power sources will give biomass producers, which supply baseload energy, a fair shake in the electricity market.

“Biomass power is green power,” Dahle said, “but even as the state pushes for greater use of renewables, biomass plants have been closing because of tax breaks and other subsidies granted to wind and solar. AB 2363 will bring fairness to the energy market and reduce hidden burdens on consumers.”

Increased use of forest-based biomass energy is also a critical tool for reducing fuel loads on California’s overstocked forests and keeping communities and watersheds safe from catastrophic wildfires.

“If the state is serious about reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, it needs to focus on forests,” Dahle said. “Ever-larger wildfires in the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere release millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If we can burn those fuels in a modern power plant instead, it creates local jobs, improves regional forest health and helps the planet.”