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NEWS YOU CAN USE
Energy Tax Law Alert: Energy-Related Tax Proposals in President's 2012 Budget
California Senate Approves Tougher Clean Power Mandate
The Senate passed the bill, SBX1 2, Thursday mostly along party lines and the bill is now headed to the Assembly. Brown hasn't yet said whether he wouldsupport it, though he has styled himself as a cleantech governor, just as his predecessor Gov. Schwarzenegger did.
State law currently requires utilities to get 20 percent of the electricity from clean power by 2010 and has an executive order in place, signed by former Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2009, to require 33 percent by 2020. The California Air Resources Board also has adopted the same mandate last year by invoking its authority to carry out AB32, the climate change bill that passed in 2006 to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions.
Codifying the 33 percent mandate into law also would make it harder to change it, and as a result some lawmakers have attempted to pass a bill in the past few years. State Sen. Joe Simitian, a Democrat from Palo Alto, has tried to do this three times, including the bill passed by the Senate Thursday. In one of his earlier attempts, the bill won approval in both houses of the Legislature, but Schwarzenegger vetoed it.
One sticking point was the bill's requirement that would limit the utilities' ability to import renewable power from out of state. The current bill removed that instate
California's major utilities already have turned to power producers from nearby states such as Arizona, Nevada and Oregon to buy solar and wind power. In fact, the largest photovoltaic power plant in the U.S. is currently the 48 MW Copper Mountain Solar in Nevada, and was completed by Sempra Generation last year to serve customers of Pacific Gas and Electric. Developers of a Nevada transmission project that is getting a federal loan guarantee also hope to export renewable power to California via the new transmission line.
Solar on the Farm