As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Legislature Passes Groundbreaking Renewable Energy Legislation; "Green" Governor Will Veto

SB14, which would set a first-in-the-nation standard that utilities must receive 33% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020, passed the Legislature late last night.

“Increased development of renewable energy in California has tremendous potential as an economic development tool. These are clean, green jobs that belong in California. SB 14 sets a clear target with a real deadline, and then makes it as easy as possible to bring renewable energy on line.

In light of the state’s ambitious new carbon emission targets, SB 14 will give energy agencies the flexibility they need in order to meet those goals. Current law “caps” the amount of renewable energy that the Public Utilities Commission may order utilities to buy or build at 20 percent. This bill would remove this cap and require utilities to acquire 33 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020.”

This would make California's renewable energy standard one of the most aggressive in the world. The Governor, feted in magazines and national media as an environmental leader, has vocally backed the 33% standard in the past. But power plant generators have pressured Schwarzenegger to veto the bill. And according to the LA Times, he will.

The Senate did manage to pass the energy bill, which would raise to 33% the amount of energy the utilities must get from renewable sources. Final approval by the Assembly of some minor amendments was expected.

However, a high-ranking administration official said late Friday that the governor may not sign the bill, SB 14 by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), because of provisions limiting the amount of energy that could come from outside California. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the bills were not yet on the governor's desk.

That would really be the icing on the cake to the worst Governorship in California history. The one issue on which he staked his legacy, and he is likely to veto the bill most likely to drive the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions, mainly because it would keep too many jobs in the state. Adding a renewable energy standard and mandating a majority of that energy be generated in state, is probably the only bill passed this year that looks to expand the local economy. And because of that, Schwarzenegger will veto it.

And the same magazines will put him on the cover with the slogan "The Greenenator" and talk up his environmental credentials.

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