Over the past couple of days, I've been asked by a number of reporters about the practical difference between an executive order directing CARB to adopt an RPS regulation and legislative enactment of the RPS.
Here, then, is a clear difference between Governor Schwarznegger's signature on an executive order and his signature on RPS legislation.
If all we have is an executive order, then the RPS program could be brought to an abrupt halt by a future governor. If all we have is an executive order, the millions of dollars that will be devoted to developing and reviewing projects and the dedicated efforts of private companies and state employes devoted to developing procurement plans and program guidelines will be at much greater risk. If all we have is an executive order, it will be much harder, and perhaps impossible, to create the decade-long, stable policy environment that will be necessary to attract and support billions of dollars of investment in clean energy infrastructure. If all we have is an executive order, then Governor Schwarznegger's vision of California as a global leader in renewable energy development may never be realized.
If, instead, Governor Schwarznegger signs the RPS bills that were passed by a solid majority of the state legislature just one week ago, then the clean energy economy can be built on a strong legal foundation. If the governor signs the RPS legislation, then rather than the precipitous action of a single individual, changes to the RPS program would need to gain the support of a majority of California legislators, many of whom could still be in office well into the coming decade. If the governor signs the RPS legislation, then it will be possible to give investors confidence that their dollars and their efforts will not be squandered. If the governor signs the RPS legislation, then the thousands of students now studying how to install solar panels and erect turbines can be confident there will be jobs for them when they graduate. If the governor signs the RPS legislation, his vision of a clean and secure energy future for California has a chance of becoming a reality.
Please contact Governor Schwarznegger and urge him to sign the RPS legislation.