Gov. Schwarzenegger Looks To Advance California’s Renewable Energy Plans

Building on his commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the state’s renewable energy capacity, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08 (EO) to streamline California’s renewable energy project approval process and increase the state’s Renewable Energy Standard to 33 percent renewable power by 2020.

The Governor also will propose legislative language that will codify the new higher standards and require all utilities, public and private, to meet the 33 percent target and spread implementation costs across all ratepayers with safeguards for low-income customers.

To implement and track the progress of the EO, the California Energy Commission and the Department of Fish and Game signed a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing a Renewable Energy Action Team (REAT).

To streamline the application process for renewable energy development, the CEC and DFG will create a “one-stop” permitting process with the goal of reducing the application time for specific projects in half. This will be achieved through the creation of a special joint streamlining unit that will concurrently review permit applications filed at the state level.

To jump start Natural Communities Conservation Plans  under the EO, the REAT will initiate the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan in the priority Mojave and Colorado Desert regions and identify other preferred areas that will benefit from a streamlined permitting and environmental review process.

Also, the CEC, DFG, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a coordinated approach with federal partners in the expedited permitting process. This coordinated approach will significantly reduce the time and expense for developing renewable energy on federally-owned California land.

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