TITLE: The Challenge To Involve Local Government in California Electricity Policy

AUTHOR: James E. Burke

PAGES: 106      DATE: June 2003

ABSTRACT: Local government is the missing partner in the development of electricity policy in California. Even though local governments play a significant role in the generation and sale of electricity and in energy conservation, the potential to do more has remained largely untapped. But this is changing as a result of the energy crisis in 2000-2001, increasing costs of electricity, and the uncertainty caused by restructuring of the electricity market and the resulting cost implications for local government. This report uses the results of a 2002 survey to describe the potential for local governments to become involved in California electricity policy. Local governments can make a positive contribution in three areas: in electricity planning (including Community Choice Aggregation), in working with the private sector to develop large power plants, and in the development of distributed generation. In contrast to state and federal approaches (but of particular importance to California’s energy future) is the role local governments can play in a regional approach to energy planning.

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