Thursday, February 03, 2005

State ofthe state from the gallery

Watching the Governor from the House gallery. . . .He made an interesting but sort of B.S. move on renewable energy. Instead of calling for q 20 percent renewable standard he called on the Illinois Commerce Commission to approve some sort of standard. He didn't give a figure. And I guess that takes the wind out of the sails of any attempt to pass legislation. Let's see if the ICC moves on that proposal. He also dodged his failure to impose modern standards on coal power plants by calling for a regional standard on emissions. Whatever. If he wants a regional midwestern standard then he should define it publicly and work to pass it this year in Illinois. You can't say you are taking the lead on air pollution by talking to other states, which is what he did. Right now he does not deserve environmentalist's support.

UPDATE: This Treo blogging is not so good. I don't know what 3,000 megawatts by 2012 translates to in percentage terms of the state's electricity usage (which is what the Governor called for). Roughly speaking, the best states are implementing renewable portfolio standards that are equal to the year -- so 8% in 2008, 10% in 2010, 20% in 2020. If 3,000 megawatts in 2012 is about 12%, then that's better than I originally thought. Any help on this calculation would be appreciated. However, his big failure is the lack of modern emission standards for the old power plants. That's unacceptable.

UPDATE AGAIN: Well, I don't get it. The Environmental Law and Policy Center is saying in their latest email that Blagojevich "has recommended a 2% renewable energy standard (RES) by 2006, ramping up to 8% by 2012." I didn't hear that in the State of the State address (you can read it here). The media is reporting that Blagojevich has called for an 8% standard, but I can't find that anywhere. Help, as always, would be appreciated.

POTENTIALLY FINAL UPDATE: I guess the 8% comes from the 3,000 megawatts figure (after emailing ELPC). I'd like to see the actual submission to the Illinois Commerce Commission before I give the Governor any credit, especially since by punting this over to the ICC, it gives policymakers an excuse not to include a renewable energy standard in the legislation that will likely emerge from the scheduled rewrite of energy laws this year. I wonder why the Governor and his speechwriters used such a confusing way of taking about wind power. Maybe 3000 megawatts sounds more impressive than 8%. Anyway, 8% still puts us behind other leading states. I'll keep an eye on this.


Anonymous said...

I'm a bit disappointed... usually you're more articulate Dan. But maybe the Gov's pro-environmental caught you by suprise... or umm... took the wind out of your sails.

He IS talking about renenawable energy standards, clean air standards, etc. Which is more than you can say for any Gov in the last, oh, I don't know, 20-30 years?

While he may not have laid out clear standards- I do believe "the largest wind farm in the country" is a tangible goal. The nuts and bolts should be based on ICC recomendations based on their knowledge of our region's power grid, existing capacity and projected demand.

He's on the record. Now let's see the follow through.

Anonymous said...

That 8 percent figure supposedly comes from a fact sheet the guv's people handed out the press in the days right before the speech. But you're right; you'd think if he actually had a specific figure that he intended to follow through on, he'd have said it in his speech, not just in a fax probably not seen directly more than a couple dozen reporters, tops.