Gov. Brown signs renewable energy bill coauthored by Chesbro

According to a news release from the office of Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro, dated April 12, 2011:
Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D-North Coast) joined Gov. Jerry Brown today at a bill signing ceremony for ground-breaking legislation that commits California to investing in green, renewable energy. Chesbro was coauthor of state Sen. Joe Simitian’s Senate Bill 2X, which requires utilities to get at least 33 percent of electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020.“When the governor signed SB 2X today, California confirmed its position as the world leader in green energy technology,” Chesbro said. “This breakthrough legislation will create a large number of new living-wage jobs, attract new businesses to California, preserve the environment, improve air quality and protect public health.”

Senate Bill 2X applies to all electricity retailers in the state – investor-owned utilities (IOUs), municipal utilities and independent sellers. The current 20-percent renewable energy requirement applies only to investor-owned utilities and independent sellers. Municipal utilities have adopted renewable energy goals, which only some have met. Achieving 33 percent renewable energy by 2020 is a key element of the state’s plan to meet the limits on greenhouse gas emissions established by AB 32. “This bill will bring many important benefits to California, including stimulating investment in green technologies in the state, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, improving local air quality, promoting energy independence, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Gov. Brown said in his signing statement. “It will ensure that California maintains its long-standing leadership in renewables and clean energy.”

Senate Bill 2X does not require utilities to reach the goal at any cost. The PUC must approve renewable energy contracts, and utilities may be granted exemptions if the price of energy, or the difficulty of moving it into the state’s grid, make the cost excessive. For these reasons the bill was endorsed by the PUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates and consumer watchdog The Utility Reform Network (TURN).

For the full text of SB 2X click here and click here to view Gov. Brown’s Signing Statement.

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