SACRAMENTO - California drivers soon will be able to find charging stations for their electric cars, or fueling stations for their ethanol-powered vehicles. Last week the California Energy Commission approved three awards that leverage $15.4 million in state funding with $49.6 million in federal stimulus money and $49.3 million in private funds.
"California's investment will leverage more than six times as much money for new infrastructure and new jobs, and help to solve one of the biggest problems with alternative-fueled vehicles - making sure motorists have ready access to fuel, including electricity," said Energy Commissioner Anthony Eggert. "By taking this bold step, state and federal government, along with the private sector, are advancing new technology and collecting important information that will help America replace petroleum and reduce pollution."
The new E-85 dispensers should reduce petroleum use by over 24 million gallons annually and reduce emissions by an estimated 170,000 tons per year. This project will create or retain over 450 jobs while creating opportunities in at least 18 of California's Enterprise Zones.Assembly Bill 118 (Núñez, Chapter 750, Statutes of 2007) created the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The statute, subsequently amended by Assembly Bill 109 (Núñez, Chapter 313, Statutes of 2008), authorizes the Energy Commission to develop and deploy alternative and renewable fuels and advanced transportation technologies to help attain the state's climate change policies.
In Related News SB 722
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued the following statement after the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee passed SB 722 by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto):
“I applaud the legislature for moving forward on codifying a change in our Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent. I vetoed SB 14 last year because of the negative impact it would have had on California’s energy markets and ratepayers. However, while SB 722 makes progress in addressing those concerns, there are still a number of critical issues that must be addressed before I can sign this bill.
“We must ensure we have the correct mix of in-state and out-of-state resources for a healthy and competitive regional energy market. To meet the 33 percent standard, the legislation must include streamlining our siting and permitting processes for both California renewable generation projects and the transmission lines needed to deliver that energy throughout the state. I cannot sign legislation mandating a higher requirement without ensuring that the necessary projects can be built.
“SB 722 currently does not address this issue and I look forward to working with the author and the legislature as the bill moves forward.”