Reporting from Sacramento — Legislation aimed at requiring California electric utilities to meet the nation's toughest renewable power quotas easily passed its first test Thursday, gaining support from a large number of usually conflicting interests.
The bill would require utilities to get 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020, a boost from the current 20% standard. The new standard would apply to both publicly owned power generators, such as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Edison Co.
The bill, SB 722 by state Sen. Joe Simitian (D- Palo Alto), was approved by the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee on a 9-2 vote and is expected to win final passage in late summer.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a similar measure last year, applauded the vote but warned that he would seek changes that would streamline the siting and permitting of renewable projects before signing the final legislation.