Schwarzenegger’s Executive Order Raises California RPS to 33% by 2020

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger this week signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 33 percent by 2020 – first established by the Governor’s directive last year.

The Governor’s Executive Order upholds California’s leadership in environmental policies and builds on AB 32 goals by ensuring California will have the flexibility needed to use renewable energy sources for 33 percent of the state’s energy consumption by 2020, the Governor’s Office said in a statement.

“Three years ago, I signed AB 32 and committed California to roll back our greenhouse gas emissions a nation-leading 25 percent by 2020. We’ve made a lot of progress since then, but we still have a lot of work to do to reach our goals,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “So I am taking action today to make sure California remains a pioneer in clean energy and clean jobs and directing the California Air Resources Board to enact regulations to reach our 33 percent renewable energy standards by 2020. With this investment in renewable energy projects, California has a bright energy future ahead that will help us fight climate change while driving our state’s green economy.”

The EO takes the place of a plan to boost the RPS that passed in state’s Legislature last week. The legislatures plan included allowing utilities to use renewable energy credits and out-of-state power to meet the standard, however Schwarzenegger did not believe the import allowances went far enough.

He said the bill passed by the Legislature would discriminate against power produced in other Western states and make it hard for utilities to meet the 33% requirement at the lowest possible price.

He also objected to a provision in the Legislature’s plan that he said would not allow utilities to use RECs purchased from out-of-state wind and solar projects to cover more than 30% of their obligations.

Click here to read the full executive order.

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