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California's Renewables Portfolio Standard in legislative limbo

A California Assembly Bill requiring the state's utilities to double the amount of electricity generated by renewable resources died last month as the state's legislature closed, leaving it and other legislation in limbo. The bill is to establish a Renewable Portfolio Standard for California, setting at 20% the proportion of electricity to be generated by green resources by 2010. Known as the "Edison Bailout Bill," it is to provide funds to Southern California Edison to make back payments to small Qualifying Facility wind projects. SCE had failed to pay some small power producers between November 2000 and March 2001. In addition, it is to allow electricity customers to resume buying green power products from retailers such as Green Mountain Energy. The ability of California's electricity customers to access green products, an important feature of deregulation and a driver for renewable development, was suspended earlier this year during California's energy shortages. About 200,000 customers were affected. The California Energy Commission, in the mean time, voted to end direct access until the legislature takes action.

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