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December 2, 2008
For More Information, Contact:
Sarah Mason at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that he introduced Senate Bill 14, which requires the state to buy 33 percent of its energy from clean, environmentally friendly renewable energy resources by 2020.  Simitian said he introduced the bill on the first day of session, “because of the urgency of this issue.” 
“California can and should act sooner rather than later to increase the use of renewable energy,” said Simitian.  “Renewable energy provides an immediate response to the threat of global warming, cuts air pollution, reduces our dependence on foreign energy, and helps to limit the threat of another energy crisis.”
“Moreover,” said Simitian, “increased development of renewable energy here in California has tremendous potential as an economic development tool.  These are clean, green jobs that belong in California.”
“We need to set ourselves a clear target with a real deadline, and then make it as easy as possible to bring renewable energy on line,” Simitian added.

In his remarks to the California State Senate on Monday, Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg noted the importance of a focus on renewable energy sources.  “Let’s pass the most comprehensive renewable energy policy in this state within the first 120 days…Let’s get it done; let’s get it on (the Governor’s) desk and let’s get rolling,” he said.  Steinberg has agreed to co-author Simitian’s SB 14, as have Senators Alex Padilla and Christine Kehoe (the current and former Chairs of the Senate Energy Committee, respectively).
In light of the state’s ambitious new carbon emission targets, SB 14 will give energy agencies the flexibility they need in order to meet those goals. Current law “caps” the amount of renewable energy that the Public Utilities Commission may order utilities to buy or build at 20 percent. This bill would remove this cap and require utilities to acquire 33 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2020.
Electricity generation now accounts for 32% of California’s gross carbon dioxide emissions.  According to our state energy agencies, California’s electricity sector produced about 108 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2004, an increase of 35% over 1990 levels. Furthermore, emissions from the electricity sector are increasing twice as fast as emissions from any other sector, including transportation.
Simitian serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, and is the author of SB 107 which requires the state to get 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2010.  In signing the bill two years ago, Governor Schwarzenegger noted “the science is clear. The global warming debate is over.  We have a responsibility to act now. This bill…will help California reduce greenhouse gas emissions and continue our leadership on protecting the environment.” 
To learn more about SB 14, please visit