CMTA Board votes to oppose the Renewable Energy Initiative

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 26, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The Solar and clean Energy Act of 2008, set for the November 2008 election, would drive up energy costs and interfere with rational implementation of California’s climate policies.  The CMTA Board voted to oppose the initiative last week at it's Summer Board meeting.

The proposition would require all utilities to generate 20 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2010, rising to 40 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025. While imposing aggressive new renewable power targets, it would cap what utilities may charge ratepayers for that power.  It allows for higher fines for utilities that fail to meet the targets.
Current law requires 20 percent renewable power by 2010 for investor-owned utilities, and the Governor proposes meeting a 33 percent level by 2020.  The initiative is not necessary because the state already has a renewable portfolio standard and can establish the level of renewables we need to meet climate change goals as appropriate. We also believe regulations to meet energy reliability and climate change goals should be adopted by the California Air Resources Board and other knowledgeable agencies, not by a ballot initiative with a 2/3 vote requirement to fix problems. The measure is also complex and confusing which will likely require lengthy and expensive litigation to resolve.
Despite it’s purpose to support renewable energy development, some renewable-energy companies oppose the measure including BrightSource Energy, PPM Energy, Horizon Wind Energy and Schott Solar. Other environmental opponents include the California League of Conservation Voters, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Utility labor unions are also joining in opposition, including the California Coalition of Utility Employees and five locals of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
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