EDITORIAL: California needs to coordinate a long-term energy policy
Dec 11, 2012 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Not to state the obvious, but a governor can get recalled over a failure to keep the lights on. Gov. Jerry Brown is not in danger of losing his job. But he should study the Little Hoover Commission's report on California's fractured system for delivering electricity.
The nonpartisan oversight board is warning that failure to coordinate energy policy will undermine the state's advance toward a renewable energy future. State law says a third of California electricity must come from renewable power by 2020. The state also must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.
The goals are vital to the future of the state and are achievable. But in the process of attaining those goals, California's leaders cannot make decisions that cause costs to skyrocket. Too much is riding on the outcome.
Within state government, one agency needs to know what the other is doing. That isn't happening. The commission's report suggests the need for a California energy secretary who would be responsible for energy-related decisions. But adding a layer of governance without overhauling other agencies, including the state Public Utilities Commission, doesn't make sense.
California has many dedicated bureaucrats who earnestly make decisions that for better or worse will help chart the state and nation's energy future. But if the state doesn't operate smarter, we'll all pay too much for not enough.
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