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E2 Advocacy - Energy
America needs new energy policies that are fully aligned with our global warming goals (see E2's global warming campaign page). Bills that create incentives for efficiency, renewable energy, biofuels and green jobs development should be considered, but also weighed against the risks of unbridled expansion of energy crop production at the expense of land, water and air quality. Caution must also be exercised against jumpstarting new coal-to-liquid or tar-sands industries that would actually increase carbon emissions from vehicle fuels relative to gasoline.
To foster the development of effective Clean Fuel Standards to create markets for cleaner fuels, stimulate job growth, and reduce the carbon emissions from transportation fuels.
**Read E2's Biofuel Market Report, released Sept 2012
E2 is working to prevent the utilization of tar sands for oil production. The oil extracted from tar sands comes at a significant environmental cost, often times destroying entire areas of land and releasing pollution both in the extraction, transportation, and combustion processes. E2 believes that a more sustainable, economically beneficial investment would come in the form of alternative fuels.
E2 is pushing for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) policies as a way to encourage homeowners to purchase solar panels and make their homes more energy efficient. PACE works locally allowing governments to offer loans to residents to offset initial startup costs (e.g. installing solar panels). Then, a small fee is assessed on property taxes. The amount of money saved in reduced energy costs would offset the propert tax fee. PACE is a private capital solution, requires no federal spending, and is deficit reducting.Because such cost-effective investments would not only help residents cut energy consumption and cost, but also benefit businesses associated with these industries, E2 supports PACE efforts.
E2 also ran a similar campaign in California. Details about that campaign can be found here
More information about PACE can be found here.
Nearly 100 percent of California's transportation system is currently fueled by fossil fuels. A more diversified approach to fuels and higher efficiency vehicles will help reduce greenhouse gas pollution from motor vehicles, reduce the state's dependence on foreign oil and encourage a healthy alternative fuels market that would benefit the agriculture and bio-tech industries.
The prior Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), required regulated electric utilities to increase their use of wind, solar and other eligible renewable electricity sources by at least one percent per year, reaching at least 20 percent by 2010. California now has an improved RPS that increases the mandated use of renewables to at least 33 percent by 2020.
Community-Based Renewable Energy Self-Generation Program (SB 843 - Wolk) allows an electricity customer an option to own solar generation (or other renewable energy) in a shared facility at a lower cost than using their own roof. It can be built on degraded or idle land near preferred distribution points and it creates local jobs. SB 843 depends purely on economics and does not require any state subsidies. It provides a framework to benefit electricity customers, utilities, and, on a broader level, California's economy. By expanding the retail market, SB 843 will help California meet its goal of 33 percent renewable power by 2020. By cost-effectively supplementing on-site generation, SB 843 provides an economically advantageous method for facilitating the state's long-term goal of zero net-energy buildings.
E2 was originator and principal sponsor of SB 77, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE). PACE financing was pioneered in California and several counties and cities have implemented programs. The program authorized by this bill will enable new PACE programs in local governments and qualified entities that choose to participate to get more favorable financing rates and make these loans more attractive to participating residential and commercial building owners. PACE loans would be implemented through private bonds repaid by assessments selected by the private property owners, which is further secured by a lien on the property.
E2 has also run a similar federal campaign. Details can be found here.