Skip to comments.CA: Senate passes green energy bill (.. it’s time to show a little sense of urgency,”)
Posted on 03/31/2009 8:43:55 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
A measure that would require utilities to receive one-third of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020 passed off the Senate floor Tuesday with the bare minimum of 21 votes.
The bill, SB 14 by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-San Jose, has been tagged as a top priority for Senate leader Darrel Steinberg. The bills passage was the first major policy decision in which Steinberg muscled a proposal out of his house, despite reservations from many within his own party.
When Steinberg took the leadership gavel in December, he noted three top legislative priorities that could give the Legislature a sense of momentum:" expanding health coverage to all California children, agreeing on a water bond, and expanding the renewable energy requirements for utilities. The health care ambitions have been tempered by the states budget crisis, and a water deal remains elusive, Steinberg said Tuesday.
Steinberg acknowledged Tuesday that the renewable plan was far from finished. But, he said, it was the Legislatures best hope at passing an early, significant policy change.
Its more cooked than water, Steinberg said of the energy plan. There will be plenty of room to address peoples concerns, but its time to show a little sense of urgency, he said.
But not all Democrats felt it was a good idea to send an unfinished bill onto the Assembly. Sen. Rod Wright, D-Los Angeles, gave an impassioned speech against the bill, and said he was not moved by promises to amend the bill later in the process. I only vote for what I can see, Wright said.
Outside of the state budget, Simitians bill has emerged as the first major legislative fight of 2009. The bill has created fluid political coalitions that have, at time, pitted environmental groups against each other, and have raised concerns about rate-payer protections and increasing energy costs.
Under current law, utilities are required to produce 20 percent of their power from renewable resources -- including wind, geothermal and solar power -- by 2010. But many utilities are struggling to meet that 2010 deadline. Currently, about 12 percent of Californias energy comes from renewable sources.
Opponents say the new requirements will drive up the cost of electricity, and put utilities in danger. My concern is that we are going to make ourselves the greenest Third World economy in the world, said Sen. John Benoit, R-Riverside.
During the floor debate Tuesday, many Senators who voted for the bill noted it was a work in progress. Among them was Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, who said, it does seem a little early in the session for bills to be moving to the other house. Ducheny wound up voting in favor of the bill.
Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, who held two marathon hearings on the bill earlier this year, outlined a host of outstanding issues that have yet to be resolved among stakeholders, and with the Assembly. Among the most controversial elements of the bill is a discussion of the renewable energy credits, known as RECs. These credits would work in a fashion similar to carbon credits under the states greenhouse gas emissions program.
The credits would allow utilities to buy their way out of some of the renewable energy requirements by purchasing energy credits from other green-energy providers. Simitians measure does not allow for any such credits. But the Assemblys major renewable bill, AB 64 by Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, D-Glendale, allows utilities to purchase credits for up to half of their new requirements.
The battle over expansion of renewable energy requirements was sparked by Gov. Schwarzenegger last year. In November, Schwarzenegger signed an executive order requiring utilities to meet the new, rigorous standard. That spurred Steinberg to move quickly with Simitians legislation.
But Republicans demanded Steinberg draw the breaks on the legislation. This bills not cooked, said Sen. Dave Cox, R-Fair Oaks. It doesnt cost anything for us to (wait to) get it right.
But Steinberg pressed on. Theres nothing wrong with taking the lead and showing some leadership on an issue, Steinberg said. Lets make this an early victory for this Legislature and this state.
Driving the state to hell in an electric car....
Heck, these maroons should have gone all the way to the wall and made it 100% - it’s not as if they care about the financial or moral consequences of ANYTHING they do anyway.
More jobs and businesses leaving Cali. Come to Indiana!!
PG&E’s residential rates go up to 44¢ per kWh for amounts over 300% of your “baseline.” Baseline is a very low amount and it is easy for even a modest household to hit this rate. Pushing renewables would surely sent this to $1.00/kWh and any carbon tax would push it to $1.50 or maybe $2.00/kWh. And, with the mass migration out of CA, rates could go even higher as the fixed investment will have to spread over fewer rate payers.
CA was a great place from the 1840s to the 1970s or so. What a cesspool now.
California may tap U.S. Treasury, Europe for credit
Do you guys ever sleep? Or get off FR?
Suffice to say, I expect a return of those problems. Fortunately, I'll just be reading about it from 900 miles north.
In other words, "We've got to ramrod this through before more people discover this is complete leftist BS."
Speaking for myself: No.
On my last trip to the former Golden State I found that many of my friends had gone insane. Everytime they opened their mouths it was like listening to the inmates in a lunatic asylum. The state has gone insane fascist. California is lost.
The only way to call attention to this sorry state would be a suicidal bonzai charge into Sacramento.
OK you got me.
So do they turn out the lights if they dont get the required amount of energy from ‘renewable” sources? will they shut down a gas fired power plant until the ratio is met?
this will be interesting.
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