Clean & Renewable Energy

 

It’s simple: relying on oil, coal, and natural gas for the bulk of our energy needs is ultimately a losing proposition. Fossil fuels will peak and run out someday; they’re already becoming less efficient and even more environmentally harmful to extract. In the meantime, burning them emits so many pollutants and causes so many other problems (global warming, air pollution, water pollution, devastation at extraction sites, destruction of habitat, oil spills, etc.) that we need to diversify our sources of energy as soon as possible.

There are a wide variety of alternative and renewable sources of energy (solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal, hydroelectric, etc.). The main challenges are to make renewables cost-effective and to minimize unintended consequences (such as solar vs. desert habitat; windfarms vs. birds, hydro power vs. river wildlife, and biofuels vs. food production). Solving these problems calls for a major investment into green jobs, including training a workforce for these jobs (see green jobs). In any case, weaning ourselves off fossil fuels will help avoid massive societal disruptions and will have major benefits for our air quality, our water quality, and reducing emissions that contribute to global warming.
California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) is the most ambitious renewable energy standard in the country. The RPS program required electric corporations to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources by at least 1% of their retail sales annually, until they reached 20% by 2010. Governor Jerry Brown kept his campaign promise to make the requirement even more rigorous when he signed legislation in 2011 that requires the companies to achieve 33% RPS by 2020.

Prior to that, despite proclamations (and an executive order) in support of a 33% RPS by 2020, former Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed two bills in 2010, SB 14 (Simitian) and AB 64 (Krekorian), which would have established the 33% target as state law. Fortunately, Governor Jerry Brown signed the 33% requirement into law the following year.

Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 2X (Simitian) into law in 2011. Read more about this victory for California's renewable energy future, the environment, and clean energy jobs.

Clean & Renewable Energy Votes

Year Bill # Description Assembly Senate Governor
2013 AB 8 Investing in cleaner cars
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2013 AB 217 Solar for all
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2013 AB 669 Protecting water supplies from fracking
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
No Action
No Action
2013 SB 43 Community solar power
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2012 SB 1455 Fueling alternative fuels
Good
Good
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
2012 AB 1990 Solar for all
Good
Good
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
2012 AB 1073 Solar done wrong
Bad
Bad
Bad
Bad
Bad
Bad
2012 SB 1054 Tell your neighbor if you're fracking
No Action
No Action
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
2012 SB 594 Removing obstacles; empowering renewable energy customers
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2011 AB 724 Recharging our clean energy effort, part one
No Action
No Action
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
2011 AB 1150 Helping those who help themselves
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2011 AB x 14 Keeping one pace ahead of Freddie and Fannie
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2011 SB 454 Expending a little more energy to save it
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2011 SB x 2 33% renewables by 2020
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2011 SB 870 Recharging our clean energy effort, part two
No Action
No Action
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
2011 AB 591 Don't frack with our water
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
No Action
No Action
2010 SB 722 RPS Redux
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
No Action
No Action
2010 AB 2514 Rainy Day Energy
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2009 SB 14 Renewable electricity: a new target
Good
Good
Good
Good
Bad
Bad
2009 AB 64 Renewable electricity reform
Good
Good
Good
Good
Bad
Bad
 
 
 

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2014 California Environmental Scorecard

2014 California Environmental Scorecard

Together, we won a number of crucial victories in 2013. How did your legislator do?

Read about the 2013 legislative year in CLCV's 2014 California Environmental Scorecard.