Editorial: Renewable energy bill a big win for Simitian, state | April 15, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - April 15, 2011

Editorial: Renewable energy bill a big win for Simitian, state

Governor signs legislation that will create jobs, boost Valley's economy

Long a devout and successful proponent of alternative energy, Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, hit the jackpot this week when Gov. Jerry Brown signed his Senate Bill 2X, which requires private and public utilities to obtain 33 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources in nine years, by 2020.

Along with Simitian, the governor came to the SunPower/Flextronics plant in Milpitas for the ceremony, as did Energy Secretary Steven Chu, underlining the importance of the bill which, Simitian said, "... establishes California as the national leader in the use and development of renewable energy."

The bill also has a wide range of support from all sides of the energy industry, including consumer and environmental groups, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, as well as many of the state's municipal utilities.

The senator began his persistent effort to establish the 33 percent standard four years ago, and in 2009 his Senate Bill 14 passed both houses but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over what energy contracts would qualify to meet the goal. Last year Simitian's Senate Bill 722 addressed those concerns but it did not pass the Legislature in time.

The current law, also authored by Simitian and passed in 2006, applies only to investor-owned utilities and independent sellers. It set a 2010 deadline for 20 percent use of renewables, a goal utilities expect to exceed this year. It will remain in force until 2020, when SB2X takes effect.

In a press release announcing the signing of the bill, Simitian said the measure will bring in investment dollars, tax revenue and jobs; improve air quality; address climate change; protect rate-payers from price spikes like the one in 2001 by diversifying the state's sources of energy; and allow the country to base its foreign policy on American interests rather than energy needs.

The timing of the legislation is particularly apt, as the price of petroleum continues an unabated upward spiral, while entrepreneurs in the Valley and elsewhere rush to bring the cost of renewable energy down.

Simitian's hard work and persistence on this legislation deserves recognition throughout the state, but particularly here in his district, where the vast majority of citizens are committed to addressing global climate change and many companies are innovating in the field of green technology.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2011 at 5:36 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Why not 100% renewables?

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Posted by hate it
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 16, 2011 at 5:48 am

Can't wait for the screaming about how much more our energy will cost..as usual affecting the poor and middle class more than the rich..

Or is the next logical step to tax the rich more to subsidize the poor ? ( Leaving the middle class out to dry as usual)???

Stupid law, as usual.

Like this comment
Posted by fireman aj
a resident of another community
on Apr 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Stupid laws and special interest butt kissing is what Joe does best.

Like this comment
Posted by al norte sm
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

hate it:
"Or is the next logical step to tax the rich more to subsidize the poor ? ( Leaving the middle class out to dry as usual)???"

How does that leave the middle class out to dry?

A progressive tax code has been (mostly) America's way for years, and is highly supported by the public.

Two out of three Americans support closing the deficit by raising taxes incrementally on those making over 250k a year.

Like this comment
Posted by hate it
a resident of Greenmeadow
on May 1, 2011 at 10:29 am

Well, to answer your question Al Norte:

The "rich", however it is defined du jour, lately at $115,000/year given that is when someone hits the "top 10%" of this nation, pay the lion's share of taxes, have no assistance for anything from anyone and work their whole lives to do this.

The "middle class" who pay the rest of the taxes, given that the "bottom" 47% pays zero in taxes, work hard all their lives and get no help from anyone because they aren't "poor".

When energy prices go up..who will pay them? The "rich" will pay their own and the majority of taxes.

The "middle class" will pay the same rates, and their taxes.

The "poor" will get subsidized by the "rich" and the "middle class" taxes and pay little to none of the costs.

Who feels it the most?

The Middle Class, as usual. That is what I mean by leaving the middle class out to dry.

This is how socialist and marxist countries end up with no middle class, only a few "rich" and a whole bunch of "poor" as the middle class either give up and relax a bit, or get lucky/through hard work and risk get "rich".

I feel the urge myself already when I look at how hard I work, how much I pay, and the very, very small difference between the quality of my life and the quality of those who live in subsidized housing in palo alto, working very little compared to what I am doing.

There was a time when I believed that hard work would pay off, but after the last few years, and seeing where this country is heading, led by leftists like Simitian, I am beginning to think it simply isn't worth it.

After all, if 2/3rds of Americans REALLY believe it is morally acceptable to steal money (not by gun, but by IRS) from others who make more than they do just because they want to, what kind of moral code can I count on in this country, and why should I keep risking my time and money to create a business, only to have my profits stolen if and when I FINALLY make it?

And that is the problem with "taking other people's money", as Thatcher put it so well..eventually you run out of it. By then, you have destroyed your country.