California Adopts Two New Greenhouse Gas Reduction Rules: Renewable Electricity Standard and Regional Emissions Targets

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency, adopted two significant rules to aid in the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CARB established a standard that 33% of the electricity sold in the state by 2020 come from renewable energy sources, and approved final emission reduction targets for each metropolitan planning region pursuant to SB 375. However, there is some risk that these rules could be suspended if Proposition 23 passes.

Renewable Electricity Standard History of the Standard

In 2002, SB 1078 established a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that required the retail sales of electricity in the state consist of 20% energy from renewable sources (e.g. wind, solar, and geothermal sources) by 2017. In September 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 and SB 107 into law. The landmark goal of AB 32 is to reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. To help achieve that goal, SB 107 accelerated the deadline for meeting the 20% RPS to 2010.

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