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State energy plan make spike utility bills

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POSTED December 4, 2012 7:33 p.m.

SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The state's clean energy strategy will saddle ratepayers with soaring utility bills unless officials act soon to organize state energy agencies, a government review panel said.

In a report released Monday, the nonpartisan Little Hoover Commission lauded California's effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. But it described the state's collection of energy agencies as dysfunctional and balkanized and said their lack of organization threatened to make the state's clean energy push an expensive failure.

"The state has failed to develop a comprehensive energy strategy with clearly delineated priorities to ensure that policies are not working at cross-purposes," the report said.

California has mandated that state utilities derive a third of their power from wind, solar and other renewable sources by 2020.

According to the report, the state has approved expensive power agreements in a rush to incorporate new energy sources.

It recommends, among other things, a single agency or entity to coordinate the state's energy policy and a moratorium on additional clean energy policies.

State officials are not bound by the report. Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown, told The Associated Press the governor's office will review it.

 

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