Last year, California passed a law, referred to as net metering, that lets large solar energy systems on factories, schools, offices and other big buildings receive credit for the electricity they give back to the electric grid. It has been a huge success, sparking a 1000% increase in the number of large solar energy systems in just one
year and creating a model for the country. AB 58 by Assemblyman Fred Keeley (D - Boulder Creek) would extend this law past the end of this year, when it expires.
But California's three big utilities - PGandE, Edison, and Sempra - have launched a stealth campaign to undermine it. They have amended the bill in a way that cuts in half the credit given for solar electricity. If these utilities get their way, many people who would otherwise like to install solar panels will no longer be able to afford to. And California's solar power market, the most vibrant in the nation, will be devastated, with grave consequences for the environment.
There is simply too much at stake for us to lose this fight. Nuclear power plants leave us radioactive waste that will last for thousands of years. Emissions from power plants that run off coal, oil and gas pollute the air we breathe and are the leading contributor to global warming.
The best way to say no to these environmentally harmful sources is to say yes to clean alternatives like solar energy.
The good news is that the price of solar energy has been falling as more people buy it - the cost drops by about 20% every time demand doubles. But since two thirds of America's market for solar panels is in California, our progress will be brought to a standstill if the utilities succeed. Companies that profit from pollution should not call the shots, especially when there is so much on the line. Please join us in speaking out today. The California Legislature takes up AB 58 on Monday Aug. 12.
There are two things you can do. First, you can join us in immediately contacting
these key elected officials and letting them know that you support strong net metering laws. Tell them this is the time to give more incentives to solar energy, not fewer.
Governor Gray Davis(916) 445-2841
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Fred Keeley(916) 319-2027
Assemblymember Roderick Wright (916) 319-2048
State Senator Debra Bowen(916) 445-5953
State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (916) 445-1412
Speaker of the Assembly Herb Wesson (916) 319-2147
You can email them directly by going to www.votesolar.org.
Second, send this email along to family, friends, and colleagues so they too can send a message to decision makers. Together, we can help California and the rest of the nation plug into the sun.
Bonnie Raitt, Robert Redford
Graham Nash and David Crosby