SOURCE: California Energy Commission

December 05, 2007 19:05 ET

Energy Policy Report Puts Greenhouse Gas Reductions Front and Center of State Agenda

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - December 5, 2007) - The California Energy Commission today unanimously adopted the 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report that recommends strategies to meet the state's energy needs and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

"Assembly Bill 32's mandate of cutting California's climate change emissions by 29 percent in 2020 has set the bar for energy and air quality strategies," said Energy Commission Chairman Jackalyne Pfannenstiel. "The 2007 IEPR offers a specific course of action to help reach the state's energy goals while restricting our carbon footprint."

The 2007 IEPR noted that one in eight Americans -- over 37 million -- lives in the Golden State, with more than 44 million expected by 2020. Most of this growth will occur in the hotter, inland areas, escalating the demand for electricity, primarily for air conditioning.

For over 30 years, California has led the nation in effective action to reduce emissions, improve air quality and increase energy efficiency. California also uses less electricity per person than any other state in the nation, the IEPR said. But with a growing population and economy, California must ensure that energy supplies keep pace with demand while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions, according to the IEPR.

The 2007 IEPR recognizes that it requires aggressive and immediate action from all Californians to accomplish these aims, using every tool in their energy arsenal -- from a simple act of consumers switching one incandescent light bulb to a compact fluorescent lamp to save $75 million in electricity costs and prevent the release of 974 million pounds of carbon dioxide every year, to the more complex task of generating electricity with cleaner renewables.

In general, the 2007 IEPR concluded that California could meet AB 32's targets by ratcheting up efforts in energy efficiency and conservation through building and appliance standards and demand response; producing 33 percent of our power from renewable sources by 2020; increasing the electricity yield from new and improved distributed generation; and reducing the state's petroleum use while developing alternative, clean-burning fuels in line with the state's Alternative Fuels Plan.

The 2007 IEPR also recommends transmission system expansion, including ways to bring electricity produced from renewable sources to the grid; the need for additional natural gas sources, including liquefied natural gas facilities on the West Coast; investments in fueling infrastructure, including marine terminals; and trimming the miles traveled by California motorists with more effective land use planning.

"As the world's eighth largest economy, third largest consumer of gasoline, and twelfth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, California must be a leader in reducing greenhouse gases and a major participant in slowing global warming," the report said. "A single state alone cannot stabilize the world's climate," acknowledges the report, "but California has a reputation for innovation. Other states and countries follow our lead. If history is the predictor of a state's ability to make a difference on the world stage, California's actions on climate change will drive global progress."

The 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report is available on the Energy Commission's Web site at:

Contact Information

    Claudia Chandler
    Phone: (916) 654-4989