CALIFORNIA - California now has the most aggressive standard in the country for renewable energy. Governor Jerry Brown signed the groundbreaking bill, which requires power companies to get a third of their energy supplies from green sources by 2020.
Supporters of the new renewable energy standard, like Senator Joe Simitian, believe it will promote job growth in the industry, lead to a cleaner environment, and lower the state's dependence on foreign oil.
"I think what it's gonna do is spark a renewable energy renaissance in California," says Simitian.
Meanwhile, critics, including utility company PG&E argue, the move will drive up already high energy costs.
"We believe the legislation missed opportunities to ensure adequate cost protections for our customers."
The state assembly passed the bill last month, but PG&E later urged the governor to reconsider, stating parts of the legislation created a so-called seller's market. A 2009 public utilities commission survey estimated that the bill would increase energy costs by more than 7 percent. The study said consumers would likely pick up those extra costs. The law's supporters disagree.
"We've specifically got provisions in the bill that says you can't have a disproportionate rate increase on California consumers, " says Simitian, "two of the three investor owned utilities in California are for the bill, SD Electric and Edison both say they can make this bill work. Why PG&E can't get to yes, you'll have to ask them."