California Senate Passes Ambitious Renewable Energy Standard -- Schwarzenegger Says He'll Veto

Ah, politics... Late last Friday the California Senate passed an ambitious renewable energy bill which would mandate that the state generate 33% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Too bad Governor Schwarzenegger has issued a statement saying he'll veto the bill, even though he supports the greater green power goal. Here's why:

Bill Would Promote In-State Power Generation, Jobs

In addition to the 33% renewable by 2020 part, Senate Bill 14 also includes provisions that limit the amount of out-of-state renewable energy that counts towards that mandate. The state could still import power, but it would have to come from a plant that connects to the CA grid. All of this was included in a bid to help promote job growth in the state.

Opponents Say Some Small Projects Will Be Stymied

Which is where the opposition comes in: Reuters reports that the Governor is under pressure from some small energy producers and from smaller local utilities to veto the bill. They feel that some parts of the bill would threaten some solar power projects currently in development.

On Saturday, the Governor's office issued this statement:

The poorly drafted, overly complex bills passed by the Legislature are protectionist schemes that will kill the solar industry in California and drive prices up like the failed energy deregulation of the late 1900s. (AP)

Schwarzenegger's solution -- remember he supports the higher renewable energy goal in principle -- is to mandate the change through executive order.

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