Schwarzenegger Directs State Agencies on Biofuel Use

This week, Governor Schwarzenegger directed several state agencies to take steps toward the wider use of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. The Governor issued Executive Order S-06-06 establishing non-binding targets for the use and production of biomass products such as biofuels (liquid) and biogas (gas) as an integral part of California’s renewable portfolio standard.

To achieve these targets, he directed the California Energy Commission (CEC), the Resources Agency and other state agencies to collaborate, research, promote and identify funding to advance biomass programs in California. The CEC will report the progress to the Governor’s Office and Legislature on a biannual basis. California will produce a minimum of 20 percent of its own biofuels by 2010 and 40 percent by 2020, according to targets set by the executive order. Currently, of the 900 million gallons of ethanol consumed in California (which is 25 percent of the entire nation’s consumption), only five percent is produced in California. The executive order also calls for the use of biomass for electricity to reach 20 percent within the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) goals for 2010 and 2020. “It is critical that we do everything we can to reduce our dependence on petroleum-based fuels,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “Turning waste products into energy is good for the state’s economy, local job creation and our environment. By implementing biomass programs in California, we will help fight critical waste disposal and environmental problems, including the risk of wild fires, air pollution from open field burning and greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.”

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