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California Continues to Lead the Nation on Clean Energy with Passage of Landmark Renewable Energy Portfolio Legislation
RPS bill will increase energy from renewable energy to 33% by 2020
Oakland, Calif. – (March 29, 2011) – California’s environmental community joined allies in the labor, consumer rights, public health and clean technology business sectors in celebrating the California Assembly’s passage of a landmark law that will increase the share of renewable energy supplied by the state’s electricity providers to 33 percent by 2020.
“The most effective tool to produce more renewable energy for California is to increase the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to at least 33 percent by 2020,” said CLCV CEO Warner Chabot. “The law will require regulated electric utilities to significantly increase their use of wind, solar, and other renewable electricity sources. In addition to growing the clean energy job sector in the Golden State, increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent will improve our air quality and public health by reducing fossil fuel generation and use.”
The state Assembly approved the bill 55 to 19, following the state Senate’s approval of the legislation by 26 to 11 in February earlier this year. The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown, who has previously voiced support for codifying the requirement that 33 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources and is expected to sign the bill into law. Introduced by state Senator Joe Simitian, the bill (SBX1 2) would replace an executive order signed in 2008 by former Governor Schwarzenegger, sending a clear message to investors that the 33 percent RPS will be the state’s ruling standard and not subject to changes by future governors.
“The passage of this ambitious law to increase renewable energy would not have happened without the hard work of environmental champions, both in the legislature and in the diverse community of renewable energy advocates, who refused to give up on making this law a reality,” said Chabot.
If signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, the new RPS will stimulate clean technology investment and innovation and increase the number of clean energy jobs by providing market certainty for developers, investors and planners of renewable energy projects and transmission.
According to the nonpartisan think-tank Next 10, a 33 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard could generate more than 500,000 new clean energy jobs over the next several decades.
The change is key to meeting the state’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under another landmark law, AB 32 (the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006), by displacing nearly 13 million metric tons of heat-trapping emission global warming pollution in 2020—the equivalent of removing almost three million cars from the road.
“Together with implementation of AB 32, a 33 percent RPS will not only lead to cleaner air and healthier communities, it will more effectively insulate California from external energy price shocks while stimulating economic growth and job creation,” said Chabot.
About the California League of Conservation Voters:
The political muscle of the environmental movement in America’s leading environmental state, the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is the nation’s oldest grassroots environmental political action organization. CLCV uses sophisticated campaign tools to help elect pro-environment officials – and to hold them accountable for passing legislation to protect health, communities and the environment. CLCV publishes the annual California Environmental Scorecard, which scores the actions of every state legislator and the governor on the state’s environmental priorities each legislative year. For more information about CLCV, visit www.ecovote.org.
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