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- PE COFFEEHAUS
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on April 12, 2011 that would raise the requirement to provide energy from renewable sources from 20 percent to 33 percent by 2020. The governor said that getting oil from thousands of miles away was not showing responsibility for one's needs. There should be plenty of energy from wind, solar and other renewable sources right in their state boundaries.
The bill includes language that is expected to curb anticipated cost increases. Opponents and business groups claim that even with that, they expect energy costs to increase by at least 7 percent. Supporters claim that requiring the new energy forms will promote innovation and add jobs.
"By the end of the decade, our goal is to make solar cost-competitive with other forms of energy, all other forms of energy," Energy Secretary Steven Chu told the crowd at the SunPower Corp./Flextronics plant. "This would be a game-changer for us, opening up a world of export opportunities, and California's innovators and businesses can help us achieve this goal."
Chu also announced a promise to provide $1.6 billion to construct a solar plant in the Mojave Desert. He said it would create 1,000 jobs. He promised an additional $1.2 billion to build a plant in San Luis Obispo county to add another 350 jobs.
"Industry in California already pays electricity rates about 50 percent higher than the rest of the country," said Gino DiCaro, spokesman for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association. "With 33 percent, those rates are going to go up even more." State republicans pointed to a study that concluded energy costs would increase by 19 percent.
This is the same plan that was vetoed in 2010 by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.