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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
February 24, 2011

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Melissa Figueroa (916) 651-4011 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phil Yost (650) 688-6384 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


SACRAMENTO – The California Senate today passed legislation authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) that would require private and public utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. Senate Bill 2X would raise the renewable target from the current 20%, while providing the flexibility necessary to meet the higher standard. The measure passed on a vote of 26-11.

In his remarks on the floor of the Senate, Simitian made the case that the bill would:
  • Improve air quality.
  • Address climate change. 
  • Protect customers from rate manipulation by diversifying our sources of energy.
  • Allow for an American foreign policy based on American values and American interests, rather than energy needs.
  • Bring investment, jobs and tax revenues to California.

Senate Bill 2X is part of a Clean Energy Jobs Initiative that the Democratic leadership in the Legislature has pledged to move to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown as part of the current special session on the budget and economic development.

“I’m hopeful we can establish the 33% standard this year,” Simitian said. “It needs to get done to send a market signal to energy providers that California is committed to renewables.”

In each of the last two years, Simitian introduced bills to establish the 33% standard. In 2009 the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards bill, Senate Bill 14, was approved by both houses of the Legislature, but vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger over concerns about precisely what energy contracts would qualify to meet the goal. In 2010, Senate Bill 722 addressed those concerns and garnered strong support for the 33% standard, but did not pass the Legislature by the end-of-session deadline.

Senate Bill 107, authored by Simitian and enacted in 2006, established a 2010 deadline for 20% renewables. Utilities expect to exceed that goal this year, consistent with the provisions of SB 107.

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