CMTA opposes raising renewable standard to 33% by 2020

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 24, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Legislation to raise the state’s renewable portfolio standard from 20 to 30% will move through assembly policy committees to meet a July 2 deadline.  The bill imposes a 2020 deadline on the state’s utilities.


CMTA opposes SB 722 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto).  The bill would raise California's already high costs of electricity, imposing additional burdens on the economy and consumers. Rates for industry are 45% higher than the national average, and the outlook for higher prices will dampen industrial expansion in the state, threaten jobs and lead to leakage of carbon emissions to other states and regions, undermining the goals of AB 32.


CARB is developing the 33% Renewable Energy Standard (RES) regulation to help meet AB 32 greenhouse gas emissions goals. SB 722 limits the use of renewable energy credits (RECs). However, electricity costs could increase and undermine goals in AB 32. At this time, we are concerned that the cost-containment language in SB 722 does not provide sufficient protection for ratepayers.


Advocates for limiting the use of RECs argue that in-state job growth will be stimulated and the overall economy will benefit, but there is no economic proof that this will occur.  It is unfair to require 33% RPS policy to benefit a few job classifications when the higher costs will be borne by utility ratepayers and hurt the broader economy. Many other programs paid for by utility ratepayers are already supporting in-state job creation – the million solar roof program and a recently adopted multi-year $3 billion energy efficiency program for the IOUs are just two.


The best way to encourage in-state renewables development is to improve permitting and siting processes.


SB 722 has been referred to the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. It is set for its first public hearing on Thursday, June 24.

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