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Getting aggressive about energy

OW Staff | 8/27/2008, 5 p.m.

SACRAMENTO - Assembly Speaker Karen Bass gave an update, Monday, on the progress of her bi-partisan working group tasked with moving the state from its current 20-percent renewable energy target to a more aggressive goal of at least 33-percent by 2020. The group's mission, when formed weeks ago, was to draft policies that will establish a nation-leading target of at least 33 percent renewable energy for the state. "There was no reason for the legislature to wait until next year to begin this important discussion so I formed a working group," said Speaker Bass. "With the right policies, we can spur clean-tech innovation and jobs, protect California ratepayers, improve our environment and help our country achieve energy independence."
The working group has met with Senate leadership, consumer groups, environmental groups and energy experts to prepare legislation to reduce California's dependence on fossil fuels, increase utilization of the state's abundant and diverse renewable energy resources and reform the state's transmission system which impedes renewable growth. Many of these groups are already working with the Speaker's task force on implementation of the state's standards on issues such as energy transmission and grid reliability-- key issues in ensuring the feasibility of a renewable goal increase.
Speaker Bass named Assemblymembers Paul Krekorian (D-Burbank), Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) and Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo) to the working group. Speaker Bass is directing the group to collaborate with the Senate during the interim to come up with a comprehensive implementation strategy.
"It is critical that California reach this goal by building thoughtful agreement on a long-term, comprehensive plan to achieve this standard," said Speaker Bass. "California will be setting the standard for the rest of the nation, and it is critical we address all of the elements required to meet the standard."