California Bans Dirty Power Purchasing

In a rule that is expected to go into effect today, the California Public Utilities Commission has decided to ban power companies from buying electricity from high-polluting sources. More specifically, the new standard would prohibit utilities and other energy providers from entering into long-term contracts with generating facilities that emit more carbon dioxide than a modern natural gas plant. Although there is little coal-fired generation within California, approximately 20% of the state’s electricity is derived from coal plants in neighboring states. Subsequently, this rule could have a significant impact on the energy market in the Western United States. The Public Utilities Commission, which voted 4-0 in favor of the new regulation, hopes that this will encourage investment in renewable energy. See also ::UCS: California Enacts Nation’s Toughest Global Warming Bill and ::California Setting Another Important Precedent for Renewable Energy

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