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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   
March 4, 2010

For More Information, Contact:
Melissa Figueroa (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – Today State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) reintroduced legislation that requires all energy providers to buy 33 percent of their energy from clean, renewable energy sources by 2020.

Senate Bill 722 provides a clear statutory directive for private and public utilities to reach 33 percent renewable energy use, and provides the flexibility necessary to acquire that energy in the coming decade.

Last year, Simitian’s Renewable Energy Portfolio bill (Senate Bill 14) was approved by both houses of the Legislature, but vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. The veto came in spite of the fact that the bill was supported by investor-owned utilities, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (the country’s largest public utility), labor groups, environmentalists, ratepayer advocates and renewable energy developers.

Simitian described the veto as “probably my biggest disappointment from last year’s legislative session,” but says he’s encouraged by the Governor’s willingness to keep the conversation going. “I’m hopeful we can find common ground,” said Simitian.

“Increased use of renewable energy here in California has tremendous potential as an economic development tool. These are clean, green jobs that belong here in California,” said Simitian.  “I’m confident we can work with the Governor’s office this year to come up with a bill that provides an immediate response to the threat of global warming, cuts air pollution and grows the economy.”

Simitian noted that, “An increased commitment to renewable energy also allows us to diversify our energy supply, and limit the potential for the kind of market manipulation we saw in the energy crisis of 2001.  Apart from the environmental and economic development benefits, it’s just smart energy policy,” Simitian said. And, notes Simitian, “To the extent we can reduce our reliance on foreign supplies of energy, that allows the United States to pursue a foreign policy based on American values and interests, rather than on our energy needs.”

Carl Guardino, President & CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) said, “We’re pleased to see Senator Simitian is still pushing for a real commitment to renewable energy use. A requirement for 33% renewable energy by 2020 is just the kind of market signal we need to spur investment and job creation here in the Valley.”

“Meeting our renewable energy targets means the creation of much needed jobs in California and recharging the state’s economy,” said Peter Miller, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This bill is good for our environment and good for our economy,” said Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). “It creates thousands of new jobs and helps preserve clean air for us to breathe. We can’t afford any more delays. Now is the time to pass this bill and for the Governor to sign it into law.”

Current law, authored by Simitian, requires that investor-owned utilities procure 20 percent of their renewable resources by December 31st of this year.  Existing law also, however, “caps” the amount of renewable energy that the Public Utilities Commission can order a utility to buy or build at 20 percent.  Simitian’s Senate Bill 722 would remove the cap and require utilities to acquire at least 33 percent of their energy resources from renewable resources by 2020.

For more information on SB 722, visit