More States Are Finally Following California’s RPS Lead

California has long led the push for renewable energy mandates, and others are catching on

California’s renewables portfolio standard (RPS) is a flagship component of the state’s robust portfolio of climate change policies. The RPS is complex, but the basic concept is simple: state law requires electric utilities to procure a minimum percentage of their retail electricity from qualifying renewable sources under rules set by the California Public Utilities Commission. …


Post-election climate policy options

Options for newly empowered state governors, legislators and US House Representatives to advance climate policy

This post is co-authored by Dan Farber and Eric Biber. Democrats took control of the US House of Representatives in the election last week, took full control of six state governments (Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Maine, and Illinois), took governorships in seven states (including Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas), and made significant gains in …


Guest Blogger Ken Alex: California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard

Post #2 in a Series on California Climate Policy by Ken Alex, Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown

[This is the second post in a series expressing my view of why California’s actions on climate change are so important and how they will change the world.  The introductory post provides an overview and some general context.] SB 350 (2015) requires that California’s investor and municipal owned utilities provide 50% of their customer’s electricity …


Renewable Energy and Political Geography

The Washington Post had a story over the weekend about the concerted campaign by the fossil fuel industry to rollback state laws favoring renewable energy.  This effort was also the subject of an editorial in the Sunday Times. So far, this effort hasn’t gained real legislative traction.  The story attributes this failure to the growth …


One More Try This Year for a National Renewable Electricity Standard

Is something, in terms of a federal renewable standard, better than nothing? There is new talk of setting a national renewable electricity standard before this session of Congress ends, due to the introduction of S.3813, this week. This Bingaman-sponsored bill echoes an earlier proposal that can best be described as imposing a standard of modest …


California legislature considers environmental bills

The California Legislature has several environmental and land use bills in front of it right now.  Under state law, the legislature must act by August 31 in order to send any of these bills to the Governor for signature.  Here’s a quick summary of the pending legislation, with some links for further info.  (Current information …


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. …