Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, set to veto renewable energy bill.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that there was a serious battle going on in Sacramento over the 33% mandate for energy creation. In this mandate, it states that Californian energy companies must create 33% of energy used by 2020. However, after looking at the bill in more detail, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would veto the bill passed by the Californian legislature.
Governor Schwarzenegger believes that the bill is unfair to utility companies because it limits their ability to import wind, solar, and geothermal energy from out-of-state sources. This was written into the bill to ensure more Californians got hired, but it posed issues related to the inability of utility companies to meet the 2010 quota of 20%.
“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 1990s,” Governor Schwarzenegger’s spokesman Matt David said in a statement.
Instead of pursuing an option with the legislative branch, Governor Schwarzenegger will issue an executive order to mandate that 33% of energy be from renewable sources by 2020. Unlike the legislation’s version, the executive order would allow utility companies the opportunity to import some of their energy from solar and wind fields in other states.
This veto has Democrats and environmentalists up in arms. They want to have more of the power generated in-state because it would ensure more renewable projects were built rather than just imported and prevent more expensive power-lines from being constructed. In their book, this provided for a long term success for California.
One company, San Diego Gas and Electric Co., has stated that it won’t be able to reach the 2010 quota of 20% energy by renewable sources. Currently, they are at 6%. According to SDG&E, if they were allowed to import more energy and build more power-lines, they would be able to meet the quota.