Some more actual progress on climate

While the federal government remains mired in conservative obstructionism — and may not even deliver us a new energy bill — California continues to take real, newsworthy action. As e-Newswire reports today:

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Stack of Energy and Water Efficiency Bills

On October 12, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a stack of energy and water efficiency bills, including AB 1470, which provides incentives for the installation of 200,000 solar water heaters in the state by 2017. Freshman Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), formerly a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, authored four of the seven bills signed by the governor in a ceremony at Cal/EPA headquarters. Two days later, Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed three bills (AB 35, AB 888 and AB 1058), which would have established green building standards and best practices for state, residential and commercial buildings.

Here’s an overview of the signed bills, courtesy of the governor’s office:

  • AB 662 by Assemblymember Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City), expands the authority of the California Energy Commission to set water efficiency standards for appliances.
  • AB 1103 by Assemblymember Lori Salda±a (D-San Diego), requires electric utilities to maintain records of energy consumption data for all non-residential buildings to which they provide service and requires building owners or operators to provide benchmarking data to prospective buyers, lessees or lenders beginning January 1, 2010.
  • AB 1109 by Huffman, enacts the California Lighting Efficiency and Toxics Reduction Act, which prohibits the manufacturing for sale or the sale of certain general purpose lights that contain hazardous substances. In addition, the bill requires the California Energy Commission to adopt energy efficiency standards for all general purpose lights.
  • AB 1406 by Huffman, adds condominiums to the meaning of “structure” with respect to the use of recycled water for toilet and urinal flushing.
  • AB 1470 by Huffman, creates the Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act of 2007, which provides incentives to attain the goal of installing 200,000 solar water heating systems in the state by 2017 (e-Newswire, 5/16/07).
  • AB 1481 by Assemblymember Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), creates a uniform, statewide permitting process for landscape irrigation uses of recycled water, such as parks, playgrounds and golf courses, by requiring the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt a statewide general water quality permit.
  • AB 1560 by Huffman, requires the California Energy Commission to incorporate standards for water efficiency and conservation into the existing building standards governing energy efficiency.
  • Read background
  • Read more: Updates on and summaries of 2007-2008 California energy legislation.

Some of these may be small step — but together they add up to one giant leap for the state. Kudos to California!

One Response to Some more actual progress on climate

  1. Michael says:

    Additionally apparently AB 809 limits funding for Hydrogen if does not reduce GHG emissions. So good news on the H2 front. There is an article in Green Car Congress about it.