California Governor says he'll veto aggressive renewable energy bill, preferring to go it alone.
Just hours after California lawmakers passed a requirement that electric utilities get a full one-third of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, Governor Schwarzenegger's office signaled he would veto the bill, preferring to implement the standard via executive order.
"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," Schwarzenegger's communications director, Matt David, said in a statement Saturday.
Supporters of the bill urged Schwarzenegger to reconsider.
"Creating a hard mandate with the force of law behind it for this 33 percent-by-2020 goal is critical to meeting California's global warming goals, much championed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, as well as bringing upward of 200,000 green jobs to the state," said Dan Jacobson, Environment California's legislative director.
At issue for Schwarzenegger is the requirement in the bill that utilities cannot import any of those new sources of renewable energy from out of state, something that he has said since he first signed the executive order in 2008 mandating a 33 percent renewable energy standard. In addition, Mr. Schwarzenegger has said any increase in the state's renewable energy standard must include protection for utility ratepayers, removal of barriers to building more transmission lines.
The Democratic bills that passed the state Legislature just before the end of the legislative session Friday would have set up one of the most aggressive renewable energy standards in the country — a title currently held by Hawaii and its 40 percent by 2030 target.