Yesterday, California’s governor, Jerry Brown, signed into law the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country, which would require the state to generate 1/3 of its power from renewables within ten years. Brown believes that this aggressive mandate will help push California to the lead of green technology while giving the state’s economy a push. The mandate will surely create new green collar jobs, an incentive for technology companies to push forward their renewable energy projects, and will hopefully help lead the rest of the country in the same direction.
“It’s about California leading the country. It’s America potentially leading the world,” Brown said at a signing ceremony in Silicon Valley where he was joined by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and some California state lawmakers.
“The new law will stimulate the economy and improve the environment, while protecting ratepayers from excessive costs,” noted Senator Joe Simitian, a Democrat from Palo Alto and author of the legislation.
Supporters of the bill say that the initiative will help reduce California’s air pollution and help the country cut ties with unstable foreign oil sources. They also note that they believe the legislation will create about 100,000 new jobs in the clean energy sector.
Republicans in the state have pushed against the law saying it will require utilities to raise energy costs for citizens by about 7% — the cost difference between cheaper oil and coal and the more expensive wind, solar and hydro. Governor Brown acknowledged that there would be arguments over clean energy with state Republicans. He thinks they will eventually come over to the green side, though saying, “I believe a number of Republicans will come around, but they are not there yet.”
Lead image by John Womack