April 30, 2006

CALIFORNIA: Gov. Schwarzenegger's Biofuels Executive Order

Conversion technologies (CTs) promise to solve both environmental and fossil fuel problems by completing the cycle between waste and energy. With this Executive Order (S-06-06) issued April 25th, Governor Schwarzenegger clearly understands the link. Furthermore, he is ordering his state agencies and commissions to meet specific targets in the production and use of biofuels.

This important message is not getting print space in California newspapers nor other media. Why? As a culture have we become numb to solutions as we stare into the headlights of problems?

I invite other bloggers to comment - and get the word out.


by the
Governor of the State of California

WHEREAS, abundant biomass resources from agriculture, forestry and urban wastes can be tapped to provide transportation fuels and electricity to satisfy California's fuel and energy needs; and

WHEREAS, ethanol is a renewable transportation biofuel that California consumes more than 900 million gallons a year which is approximately 25 percent of all the ethanol produced in the United States; and

WHEREAS, California produces less than five percent of the ethanol it consumes; and

WHEREAS, biomass fuels, including ethanol produced from cellulose and bio-diesel produced from a variety of sources, can reduce the state's reliance on petroleum fuels and work to lower fuel costs for consumers; and

WHEREAS, in the Hydrogen Highway plan, the state has invested $6.5 million to support a network of more than 16 filling stations and a growing fleet of cars and buses that run on this clean fuel of the future; and

WHEREAS, biofuels can be a clean, renewable source for hydrogen; and

WHEREAS, biofuels offer greenhouse gas reduction benefits; and

WHEREAS, biomass as a source of energy has the potential to power more than three million homes or produce enough fuel to run more than two million automobiles on an annual basis; and

WHEREAS, biomass is a renewable resource which currently contributes two percent of the state's electricity mix, or nearly 1,000 megawatts of the state's generating capacity and is one of the options needed to achieve the State Renewables Portfolio Standard requirements; and

WHEREAS, improvements in the use of waste and residues from forests and farms for energy production can actually decrease the greenhouse gas emissions associated with biomass decomposition that otherwise would occur; and

WHEREAS, harnessing California's biomass resources to produce energy and other products is good for the state's economy and environment and contributes to local job creation; and

WHEREAS, the increased use of biomass resources contributes solutions to California's critical waste disposal and environmental problems, including the risk of catastrophic wild fires, air pollution from open field burning, and greenhouse gas emissions from landfills; and

WHEREAS, sustained biomass development offers strategic energy, economic, social and environmental benefits to California, creating jobs through increased private investment within the state.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENGGER, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power invested in me by the Constitution and the statutes of the State of California, do hereby order effective immediately:

1. The following targets to increase the production and use of bioenergy, including ethanol and bio-diesel fuels made from renewable resources, are established for California:

a. Regarding biofuels, the state produce a minimum of 20 percent of its biofuels within California by 2010, 40 percent by 2020, and 75 percent by 2050;

b. Regarding the use of biomass for electricity, the state meet a 20 percent target within the established state goals for renewable generation for 2010 and 2020; and

2. The Secretary for the California Resources Agency and the Chair of the Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission ("Energy Commission") shall coordinate oversight of efforts made by state agencies to promote the use of biomass resources; and

3. The Air Resources Board, Energy Commission, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Public Utilities Commission, Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Department of General Services, Integrated Waste Management Board, and the State Water Resources Control Board shall continue to participate on the Bioenergy Interagency Working Group chaired by the Energy Commission; and

4. The Energy Commission shall coordinate with other responsible state agencies to identify and secure federal and state funding for research, development and demonstration projects to advance the use of biomass resources for electricity generation and biofuels for transportation; and

5. The Energy Commission shall report to the Governor and the State Legislature through its Integrated Energy Policy Report, and biannually thereafter, on progress made in achieving sustainable biomass development in California; and

6. The California Air Resources Board is urged to consider as part of its rulemaking the most flexible possible use of biofuels through its Rulemaking to Update the Predictive Model and Specification for Reformulated Gasoline, while preserving the full environmental benefits of California's Reformulated Gasoline Programs; and

7. The California Public Utilities Commission is requested to initiate a new proceeding or build upon an existing proceeding to encourage sustainable use of biomass and other renewable resources by the state's investor-owned utilities; and

8. As soon as hereafter possible, this Order shall be filed with the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Order.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have here unto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this the twenty-fifth day of April 2006.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor of California



Anonymous said...

I suspect the Gov's party affiliation may be the cause for a lack of media coverage. Liberals (i.e. the media) are loathe to give Republicans credit when they do good things for the environment. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana is receiving a similarly quiet reaction for pressing biofuels in his state.

C. Scott Miller said...

The "energy crisis" is bipartisan. Its resolution will come one of two ways - either we will band together and solve it, or we will suffer consequences and then band together and solve it. Right now, we are suffering the consequences of not having followed Brazil's lead 30 years ago - converting a portion of our fuel production to ethanol. Apparently there are some benefits to having a strong command center making decisions about energy.

"The Man" is not the enemy. On this issue, the status quo and governmental inertia are the enemy.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Governor's Executive Order proves to be meaningful and effective. It is a bit easy to set goals so far into the future that others must meet them, goals for which one cannot be accountable. I order world peace and prosperity.

Sometimes, though, symbols are a most effective means of effecting change. May this be one of them.

What does 1 (b) mean? Is biomass to be used to generate 20% of California's electricity in or by 2020?

C. Scott Miller said...

California has been aggressive in setting goals and quite adept at meeting them over a span of governor terms. The state set a 50% recycling rate that it has achieved - albeit with the help of shipping a significant percentage to China.

The truth is that setting goals down on paper is much more effective than not doing so. In a state government with term limits it is even more important to do so.

About 1(b). Yes, the electric utilities have been given the goal of buying 20% renewables by 2020 - and they are quite serious about meeting that goal.