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More Command and Control for Industry in Senate Bill 350

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Senate Bill 350 mandates that the state meet three clean energy goals by 2030:
-   Fifty percent reduction in gasoline and diesel fuel used in vehicles.
-   Fifty percent of electricity generated from renewable resources (an increase from the current 33 percent mandate by 2020).
-   Doubling the energy efficiency of existing buildings.

The Bill does not specify how those mandates will be achieved. It leaves the details and the authority to implement and enforce them to the California Air Resources Board, the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission.

Senate President Pro Tem de León states the aim of the Bill is to make sure California keeps leading and building the new economy of tomorrow by putting in place standards that will spur innovation and power and provide for a sustainable California future. De León said that the state’s experience with the implementation of AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, shows that increased energy regulation can help the economy.

However, opposition is building among business and industry leaders who argue that the energy mandates contained in SB 350 will hurt the state’s economy. The Western States Petroleum Association has taken the lead in pointing out the deficiencies in SB 350, citing the impacts to California from rising petroleum costs triggered by reductions.  Also, the California Chamber of Commerce has dubbed the bill a "job-killer" saying that SB 350 sets an "arbitrary and unrealistic reduction of petroleum use, increase in the current Renewables Portfolio Standard and increase in building energy efficiency without regard to the impact on individuals, jobs and the state’s economy."

In addition to the 50 percent reduction in petroleum use, SB 350 seeks to increase the current Renewable Portfolio Standard from 33 percent to 50 percent.  The Legislature’s effort to increase renewable goals and to mandate ever-higher renewable energy targets continues to jeopardize the affordability and reliability of California’s energy supply. For instance, with respect to renewables California has yet to solve the ongoing and costly problems of intermittency and costly overgeneration, which continues to plague California’s energy system and threaten the grid. 

Currently, California’s energy price per kilowatt hour is among the highest in the nation, and California’s industrial rates are now 80 percent higher than its neighboring states.  Mandating upgrades to meet increased energy efficiency standards while increasing the cost of energy will make California businesses less competitive.

CLFP continues to oppose SB 350.

Written by Trudy Hughes, California League of Food Processors Government Affairs Director


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