Thursday, October 27, 2005

New laws in California support clean energy resources





Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Bills to Encourage Alternative Fuels, Protect Environment

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that he has signed legislation that will encourage the use of alternative fuels and reduce California's reliance on foreign oil. He also signed legislation to increase energy efficiency, aimed at protecting California's environment.

"Californians have always led the way in protecting our lands and oceans and pioneering new forms of energy use that reduce our reliance on foreign fuels. Today, we are continuing that proud legacy with new legislation that will decrease our dependence on foreign oil and encourage the use of cleaner burning domestic fuels," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "We also must be more efficient in our current energy usage to better protect our environment. These bills will help California ensure reliable, cleaner and more cost-effective energy - and a cleaner environment."

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed the following legislation:

SB 975 by Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) - Air quality: biodiesel fuel.

  • SB 975 encourages the use of biodiesel, a domestically produced alternative fuel that burns cleaner than conventional fuels and is often derived from waste products, potentially reducing our reliance on foreign oil and increasing available supplies. This bill permits public agencies and utilities to use biodiesel fuel in retrofitted vehicles and off-road diesel engines, encouraging adoption of the fuel.

SB 1037 by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) - Energy efficiency.

  • SB 1037 requires electrical and natural gas corporations to meet their unmet energy needs through all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources before acquiring energy through other sources. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), in consultation with the California Energy Commission (CEC), is required to identify efficiency savings and establish efficiency targets.

AB 380 by Assemblymember Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) - Electricity: electrical restructuring: resource adequacy.

  • AB 380 requires the PUC, in consultation with the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO), to establish resource adequacy requirements for most load serving entities.

AB 515 by Assemblymember Keith Richman (R-Northridge) - State Water Project: solar photovoltaic panels and systems.

  • AB 515 will allow private entities to lease space for solar photovoltaic panels above or adjacent to the State Water Project. The bill requires the Department of Water Resources to evaluate and approve proposals for solar panels and related systems and receive reimbursement for any costs.

AB 728 by Assemblymember Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Chino) - Electricity: biogas digester customer-generators: net metering.

  • AB 728 expands and extends the existing biogas pilot metering program. By extending the program, biogas-to-energy generators will be encouraged to move towards lower emitting technologies and build more cost-effective facilities. This critical technology converts waste products into energy.

AB 736 by Assemblymember Jerome E. Horton (D-Inglewood) - Public utilities: regulation.

  • AB 736 will streamline the ability of utilities to sell, lease or transfer property of low value. This bill modifies PUC processes to allow for transactions of property valued at less than $5 million to move through an accelerated review and also sets up safeguards to ensure the PUC maintains discretion to conduct a more formal review if necessary.

AB 1007 by Assemblymember Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) - Air quality: alternative fuels.

  • AB 1007 requires the development and adoption of a state plan to increase the use of alternative transportation fuels by 2007. The Energy Commission and Air Resources Board will work to develop the recommendations in consultation with other agencies. This effort will establish a roadmap to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

AB 1182 by Assemblymember Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello) - Public Utilities Commission: work plan access guide.

  • AB 1182 requires the PUC to make its annual work plan available on its website and also determine the feasibility of submitting advice letters electronically.

AB 1348 by Assemblymember Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) - Antelope Valley Fairgrounds EE and PV Synergy Demonstration Project.

  • AB 1348 authorizes a large photovoltaic solar energy system at Antelope County Fairgrounds. The project will generate clean solar power while reducing demand on the energy grid, especially during times of peak demand.

AB 1576 by Assemblymember Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) - Electrical corporations: rates: repowering projects.

  • AB 1576 will encourage the generation of cleaner, more efficient energy while also supporting the continued operation of previously existing generating facilities. This bill authorizes investor-owned utilities to enter into long-term contracts for the energy generated by repowered generation facilities.

Governor Schwarzenegger has taken many steps to improve energy efficiency and help clean the environment in California. The Governor set the nation's boldest green house gas emissions reduction targets and permanently funded the Carl Moyer Air Quality Program to reduce emissions. He has also signed legislation implementing a program permitting hybrid vehicles to drive in HOV and carpool lanes, accelerated California's renewable portfolio standard to receive 20 percent renewable power by 2010 instead of by 2017, and issued an executive order calling for "Green Buildings," an effort to increase the energy efficiency of state buildings by 20 percent by 2015.

The Governor has put forward a broad based energy plan to assure that California has a clean, affordable, available and reliable energy supply. Recently, the Governor detailed this comprehensive energy policy in a letter to the California Legislature dated August 23, 2005. With respect to resource adequacy, the PUC approved in October of 2004 the resource adequacy requirement, another central element of the Governor's electricity goals. The resource adequacy requirement directs utilities to identify and contract for adequate power supplies to meet demand, plus a 15 percent reserve margin. At the Governor's direction, the PUC moved up the implementation of this requirement to 2006, instead of 2008.


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