- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
- Robert Griffin III to drive pace car before Richmond NASCAR race
- Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
- Bomb, shooting in Egypt kills 2 police officers
- Tenn. woman receives two-year sentence for stealing $364K meant for homeless veterans
- School bus driver gets probation after kicking autistic girl, 8
California sets highest renewable-energy mandate
Brown signs legislation boosting amount from one-fifth of power to one-third
SACRAMENTO, Calif. | Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation requiring California utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources, giving the state the most aggressive alternative-energy mandate in the U.S.
California utilities and other electricity providers have until the end of 2020 to draw 33 percent of their power from solar panels, windmills and other renewable sources.
Mr. Brown signed the bill at a solar panel manufacturing plant near San Jose.
“There are people who think we can drill our way to happiness and prosperity,” the Democratic governor told hundreds of plant workers and other supporters gathered to witness the signing. “Instead of just taking oil from thousands of miles away, we’re taking the sun and converting it.”
Previous California law required utilities to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources.
Supporters of the higher standard said it will reassure investors and keep money flowing to develop alternative energy sources. They say that will lead to cleaner air and job growth in the clean-energy sector.
“Instead of watching from the sidelines, America needs to get back in the clean-energy race, and that’s exactly what California is doing,” said Stephanie Mueller, spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Critics of the legislation said sticking with traditional energy sources such as coal and natural gas would be cheaper, keeping costs down for business and residential ratepayers. Business groups point to estimates that the higher standard could drive up electricity costs for California ratepayers by more than 7 percent, despite language in the legislation to limit cost increases.
“Industry in California already pays electricity rates about 50 percent higher than the rest of the country,” said Gino DiCaro, spokesman for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. “With 33 percent, those rates are going to go up even more.”
Mr. Brown said he would look carefully at whether the new standard will drive up electricity costs but said increasing use of renewable sources makes sense for California and the country.
“I know one thing: Being dependent on foreign fossil fuel is not good for our economy, it’s not good for our security, and it’s not good for our climate,” Mr. Brown told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. “We have to be bold.”
Making California less reliant on fossil fuels will benefit the state’s air quality and make oil supply a smaller factor in America’s foreign policy, said state Sen. Joe Simitian, who carried the legislation.
The Democrat from Palo Alto was instrumental in setting the current renewable power standard at 20 percent and has been working for four years to get the increase to 33 percent.
Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed an earlier version of the bill but issued an executive order that called for 33 percent renewable power by 2020. Mr. Simitian kept pushing to get the higher standard written into state law, which is harder to undo than an executive order.
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Justice Dept.'s new clemency guidelines: Crack offenders most obvious candidates
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow
- EDITORIAL: Voting with one's feet shows folly of liberal economic policies
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014