The renewable energy gloves are off in the great state of California, as state regulators have just okayed a new rule that requires utilities to get a full one-third of their power from renewable energy including solar and wind power. That’s right in the face of an aggressive push by the fossil fuel industry to roll back AB 32, California’s new state law that requires greenhouse gas reporting by major polluters.
New Renewable Energy Goal Sets a High Bar
The new rule was approved this week by the California Air Resources Board, after the state legislature failed to take a vote on a bill that would have accomplished pretty much the same thing. Bloomberg News reports that the new rule requires three major utilities to meet the 33 percent renewable energy goal, up from a current goal of 20 percent. That gives California bragging rights to the highest renewable energy goal among thirty-three other states, plus Washington, D.C., that have set goals.
More Renewable Energy for California – Hey, Not So Fast!
Reality bites, and renewable energy is no exception. The deadline for the new goal may need to be pushed back, depending on how quickly new projects can be brought on line, to say nothing of the need for transmission, storage, and other grid improvements. On top of that, the fossil fuel industry is pushing hard for Proposition 23, a referendum that would cripple the greenhouse gas reporting requirements of AB 32. Although the fossil fuel industry prefers to call Prop 23 the “California Jobs Initiative,” the official name of Prop 23 is actually much longer and starts with a more accurate description of its effect, namely “Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions…”
AB 32…Proposition 23…I’m So Confused!
Or at least, one gubernatorial candidate in California seems to be confused. That would be Meg Whitman, who intends to suspend AB 32 immediately if she is elected. However, in a somewhat weird twist, Whitman has also declared her opposition to Proposition 23. So…er…I wonder what she thinks about the new 33 percent renewable energy rule?
Image: Greetings from California by heymarchetti on flickr.com.
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