California Regulators Vote to Prohibit 'Dirty' Power Purchases

While there are almost no coal-fired plants in California, about 20 percent of the state's electricity comes from coal plants in Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and other Western states.

Published: 27-Jan-2007

California utility regulators banned power companies Thursday from buying electricity from high-polluting energy sources, including most out-of-state coal plants, to curb global warming.

The Public Utilities Commission voted 4-0 to adopt the "greenhouse gas emissions performance standard," which will prohibit investor-owned utilities from entering or renewing long-term contracts to obtain electricity from sources that emit more carbon dioxide than a modern natural gas plant.

"It represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to address the challenge of climate change," PUC President Michael Peevey said.


Sandia National Laboratories researchers are studying the burning characteristics of coal to prepare the way for the coming of a hydrogen economy. That's because while there are many long-term options for providing hydrogen as a fuel of the future, coal is the leading contender to provide a hydrogen source in the near term.


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