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Governor Davis Signs Environmental Legislation
to Mandate Cleaner, Affordable Energy

Gray Davis Press Release
Office of the Governor, September 12, 2002

Renewable Portfolio Requires Purchase
of Wind, Geothermal, Biomass and Solar Power

SACRAMENTO -- Governor Gray Davis has signed legislation that will further protect California's environment and quality of life.

"My Administration has worked hard to provide a healthy future for California," Gov. Davis said. "These bills will build upon our state's rich tradition of environmental stewardship, protecting the energy we use, looking toward new energy resources and planning how we dispose of our hazardous waste."

SB 1078, by Senator Byron Sher (D-Palo Alto), establishes the California Renewables Portfolio Standard for California. It requires a retail seller of electricity (IOUs and direct access providers) to increase their use of renewable resources by at least 1 percent per year, until 20 percent of their retail sales are procured from renewables, which must occur by 2017. The 20 percent renewable requirement will be the strongest in the nation.

The RPS will decrease California's dependence on natural gas-fired power and will provide cleaner air and decrease "greenhouse" emissions. It will nearly double the state's existing base of wind, geothermal, biomass and solar resources.

SB 1038, by Senator Byron Sher (D-Palo Alto), ensures continuation of important public programs to encourage use of renewable energy and conduct public interest energy research. The measure authorizes the Energy Commission to continue to administer the Public Interest Energy Research Program and the Renewable Energy Program for five additional years. It makes conforming changes in those programs that correspond to the Commission's recently adopted investment plans.

The bill also allows net metering for the Dinuba and PVUSA facilities under specified conditions. This is double joined to SB 1078, the renewable portfolio standard. The bill will ensure that funds are made available to support the Renewable Portfolio Standard program proposed in SB 1078 (Sher).

Governor Davis also signed the following bills into law:

AB 2083, by Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), creates the Oil Transfer and Transportation Emission and Risk Reduction Act. This bill requires that companies which transport crude oil and petroleum products by tanker, between the San Francisco Bay area and the Los Angeles area, report specific oil and transportation information on a form to be developed by the State Lands Commission.

Collection of data regarding the shipment of California oil along the State's coast is important when determining environmental impacts of the transportation. The data can also be used to prevent future spills.

AB 2214, by Assemblymember Fred Keeley (D-Boulder Creek), limits the Department of Health Services (DHS) from issuing or renewing a license for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste unless the siting, design, construction, operation and closure of the facility meets specified federal and state requirements. According to this bill, DHS will make that determination. AB 2214 also prohibits a facility from disposing low-level radioactive waste using shallow land burial.

In addition, this bill prohibits the proposed Ward Valley radioactive waste disposal site from serving as the State's facility for purposes of the Southwestern Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact.

SB 1962, by Senator Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles), requires the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) to accept any outstanding "offer to dedicate" a public access way (OTD) that has not been accepted by another public agency or nonprofit organization within 90 days of its expiration date. This bill also requires the SCC to open at least three public access ways each year either directly or by awarding grants to public agencies or nonprofit organizations for that purpose.

This bill would provide a safety net for all OTD's in imminent danger of expiration, thereby protecting future public access to the coast. This bill will provide equal access to the coast for all the people of California, including low income and minority communities.

SB 849, by Senator Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) increases fees per barrel for vessels that transport crude oil in order to prevent oil spills.

The new law increases the maximum oil spill prevention and administration fee from $0.04 to $0.05 per barrel of crude oil in 2003. It authorizes the Department of Fish and Game to charge non-tank vessels a fee for certifying financial responsibility for an oil spill. The bill also extends a sunset date on provisions allowing the Department of Fish and Game to establish a lower standard of financial responsibility for non-tank vessels, and it modifies the membership of an advisory committee. SB 849 also requires the Department of Fish and Game to contract with the Department of Finance to prepare a report on the effectiveness of the state's oil spill prevention, response and preparedness programs.

Related Links:
SB 1078 California Renewables Portfolio Standard

Gray DavisPress Release
Governor Davis Signs Environmental Legislation to Mandate Cleaner, Affordable Energy
Office of the Governor, September 12, 2002

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