California's 'Other' Global Warming Bill

With the media captivated by the landmark "Global Warming Solutions Act", a sister-bill has gone mostly unnoticed, yet will have an almost immediate impact in changing California's energy portfolio by targeting the 20% of imported, coal-based energy.
September 15, 2006, 6am PDT | Irvin Dawid
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"That second bill (having passed the legislature, 8/31) which has flown under the public's radar for most of the year, is authored by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland. His SB 1368 would bar California electricity providers from entering into long-term contracts with power generators -- including out-of-state companies -- that pollute the air while producing energy. The proposal especially targets coal-fired power imported into California, which costs less than natural-gas-fired power but is dirtier. One-fifth of the power that California uses to generate electricity comes from coal. The bill only applies to new and renegotiated long-term contracts.

It is legislation that could have a dramatic pocketbook impact on investor-owned and municipal utilities, and on coal-fired plants established in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and elsewhere, to feed California's power needs."

"His 1368 will send a signal that will be heard all the way to Wall Street," said V. John White of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a trade and lobbying group that represents alternative energy producers.

"It's the one that has the far greater near-term impact. The apparatus of the media has been focused on AB 32 [the Núñez bill], but in the near term, this is certainly going to be the most consequential legislation," White added. "This applies to new and renegotiated contracts. It's not saying, 'You can't buy this power,' it's saying, 'You can't buy this power long term.'"

"About 21 percent of California electricity comes from coal-fired sources. In Los Angeles, half of the power consumed by the Department of Water and Power, a municipal utility, is coal-fired."

Thanks to The Roundup

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, August 31, 2006 in Capitol Weekly
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email