The California state Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that would provide a $25 billion boost to the state’s renewable energy programs, but opponents of the legislation said it would leave much of the money to developers of coal and natural gas extraction.
“We’re getting a huge boost to these programs that will be very expensive and very harmful,” said Senator Kevin de Leon, a Democrat from Los Angeles.
“This is not a good bill for our state.
We are in a serious crisis.”
De Leon is a member of the California Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is responsible for a $9.5 billion funding package for the state.
He also chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.
De Leon, who has been pushing for the legislation for months, said the bill provides $25.5 million for the California Department of Transportation to fund the development of renewable energy projects, including a $1 billion grant to a group that operates a coal-fired power plant.
“These are important programs,” he said.
“We need to have more money for these programs, especially in our state, which has the highest rate of carbon emissions in the country.”
The bill would also allow the state to issue bonds to build and operate a $50 billion, 100-year bond for the project.
De León said the funds would be used to finance the construction of wind turbines, solar panels, and other solar projects, and to help finance other projects.
The bill also calls for the creation of a fund for state transportation, and for state agencies to use their state funds for renewable energy and other projects, De Leon said.
“It’s an investment that we should be making,” he added.
“It’s not a subsidy.
It’s not just a tax break.
It is an investment in our future.”
De Leóns office did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
He also called the bill a “massive, massive tax cut.”
The legislation also calls on the state legislature to create a “supercommittee” to develop a comprehensive plan for the future of California’s renewable power program.
De Luz said he believes the supercommittee could find a way to fund all the projects.
But he said that was not a realistic possibility.
“The supercommittee is an empty vehicle,” he told The Hill in an interview.
“They’re just a tool to get a job done.
It can’t be a long-term, long-lasting strategy for the program.”
De Luza said he does not believe California should be saddled with the burden of these large sums.
He said the state should simply follow the lead of other states like Texas, where the state has a “sustainable energy strategy.”
“We should have a very efficient program,” he explained.
“The cost of it is so high.
We’re in a crisis.”