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May 17, 2007
For More Information, Contact:
Sarah Mason at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO – State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that his SB 411, which accelerates the state’s commitment to buy energy from clean, environmentally friendly renewable energy resources passed the California State Senate on a 21-15 vote.  The bill now moves to the State Assembly for a hearing in June or July. 
“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.” 
In light of the state’s ambitious new carbon emission targets, SB 411 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.
“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.
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 last year’s SB 107 which requires 20 percent of renewables by 2010.  In signing the bill last year, 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 411, please visit .