Dirty-Power Industry Fights Brown's Clean Energy Bill

CA will have more clean power than any other state, reducing costs associated with coal's environmental harm.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Consumers might be getting higher utility bills.

    Your lightbulbs may shine just a little bit more proudly now that Jerry Brown has signed a bill to provide consumers with more clean energy than any other state in the country.

    By 2020, utilities will need to derive a third of their power from renewable sources, according to the CC Times. That's shaping up to be a very clean year: in addition to the clean power mandate, San Francisco is also aiming for 20 percent of trips to be conducted via bicycle that year, and for zero waste to be sent to landfill.

    It's a boon for California's solar and wildmill companies, which have languished behind Europe's and Asia's more heavily subsidized competitors. The hope is that mandates such as these will bolster private investment in American firms.

    For now, dirty technologies like coal still have lower up-front costs. But the toll of unclean energy may actually be much higher in the long run, due to environmental damage, health problems, and the need to rebuild and infrastructure that will one day run out of fuel.

    Consumers may have slightly higher utility bills in their future if the power companies aren't willing to absorb the costs.