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Clean Energy Gets a Boost in Golden State

January 13, 2012

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Clean energy is getting a boost in the Golden State today, as Gov. Jerry Brown unveils a new agreement to boost clean-energy jobs.

The announcement comes one day after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to reinforce its "Loading Order" that sets the priorities utilities must follow in providing electricity. According to Earthjustice attorney Will Rostov, the CPUC ruling confirms that burning oil and gas to make electricity is bad for California residents' health and environment.

"What this decision does is help create that pivot to a future where we're creating our energy system based on renewables and low carbon fuel sources."

Under the Loading Order, utilities must first use energy efficiency and conservation to meet customer demand; then energy from such renewable sources as wind, solar and geothermal. Only after all those supplies are exhausted may the utilities purchase power from fossil-fuel plants. Rostov says the state already has too many fossil-fuel plants and that their output should be used as a last resort instead of business as usual.

Rory Cox, senior energy consultant for Pacific Environment, says Thursday's CPUC ruling will go a long way to strengthen the clean energy jobs agreement the governor is announcing.

"These all kind of work in conjunction with each other. But certainly this ruling will add some strength and some spine to the renewable portfolio standard, especially in terms of how renewables play with other energy sources."

Gov. Brown will be joined by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to make the announcement.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA