Lawmakers' renewable portfolio standard gets the bounce

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One of the bills Governor Schwarzenegger didn’t sign this week was a new mandate for California utilities to use renewable power. KPCC's Molly Peterson has the story.

The governor says he’s already set a renewable energy standard by executive order: within 11 years, utilities must generate one-third of their power from renewables. Assemblyman Paul Krekorian aimed to do the same thing with his legislation. But he says he and the governor couldn’t get past a philosophical difference about how and whether solar, wind, or geothermal power from out of state should count toward the goal.

"The legislation that we passed would have required electricity that is eligible to be counted in the renewable portfolio standard to be delivered to California at some point," Krekorian says.

Krekorian adds that in-state renewable power will deliver more direct benefits to Californians. The governor countered that his order could offer flexibility for utilities. The specifics of California's renewable mandate for utilities still aren’t clear – the state's Air Resources Board will now hash out the rules from scratch.