Sacramento debates renewable energy, jobs

With Ken posting about California’s renewable energy goals and ways to meet them, I’ll point out the battle waging this week in the state legislature over SB 14, a bill that would legislate and broaden the 33%-RPS-by-2020 Ken discussed here (currently derived from an executive order).  This from the LA Times:

Under the measure, by Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), 33% of the electricity produced by California utilities by 2020 would have to come from renewable energy sources. The fight is over how much of the renewable energy could be generated out of state. Labor unions are pushing for mostly in-state generation, as is Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).  Renewable energy “ought to be a California industry,” he says.

On Monday, the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power, the largest municipal power supplier and one of the bill’s early critics, endorsed the bill.  Private energy companies get a two-year reprieve under SB 14 of the requirement to reach 20% renewables by the end of 2010, but have nevertheless opposed it.  Whether and how much power suppliers would be permitted to satisfy the RPS with renewable credits from out of state looks like the key question, with positions on that question determined in part by how much one believes California’s future economy depends on the homegrown creation of green jobs.

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