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
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
2009 AB 920 Payback for small solar investors
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2008 AB 1920 Promoting home-grown electricity
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
No Action
No Action
2007 SB 412 Putting LNG to the test
No Action
No Action
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
2007 AB 118 Investing in alternative fuels & clean air
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2007 AB 493 Clean car discounts
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
No Action
No Action
2007 AB 1470 Building a better water heater
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2007 AB 1613 Heat + Power = Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2007 SB 411 Advancing renewable energy
No Action
No Action
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
2006 SB 426 Making Liquefied Natural Gas a safe option
Bad
Bad
No Action
No Action
No Action
No Action
2006 AB 2021 Getting the most out of our utilities
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2006 SB 107 Clean energy -- sooner
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2006 SB 1368 Clean Electricity
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
Good
2006 AB 1012 Clean vehicles for California
Good
Good
Good
Good
Bad
Bad
2006 SB 757 Cutting the petroleum umbilical
Good
Good
Good
Good
Bad
Bad
2005 SB 107 Speeding up renewable energy
No Action
No Action
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
2005 SB 1 A million solar roofs
No Action
No Action
Good
Good
No Action
No Action
 
 
 

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2016 California Environmental Scorecard

New for the 2016 legislative session: The 43rd annual California Environmental Scorecard rates elected officials on 2016, another successful year for the environment in spite of heavy opposition from polluting industry.

Find out how your legislators did in 2016 in CLCV's California Environmental Scorecard.