California Debates High Standard for Renewable Energy

By Judy Lin on September 12, 2009

California lawmakers on Friday began approving legislation that would establish the nation's most ambitious renewable-energy standards, even as some warned that the rules would increase energy costs and hurt the state's economy.

The Senate and Assembly began voting on two companion bills that would require utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020. One bill cleared an initial hurdle in the Senate on a simple majority vote with just a few hours remaining in this year's regular legislative session.

If passed and signed into law, the standard would be the most aggressive in the nation.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger favors raising the state's renewable mandate to 33 percent and bringing in more energy through wind, solar and geothermal sources, but he has yet to take a stance on the bills.

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