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F e b r u a r y — 2 0 0 7
The GENI-us Letter

California Blocking Coal — and Greening the Grid
Will other states and nations follow?

Dear GENI Friend,

According to the Government Accountability Office, the United States derived 6% of it's energy from renewables in 1973 — the exact same percentage as in 2005! After all the political pronouncements, climate warnings, and technical breakthroughs — the renewable share of the energy pie hasn't changed! It's time to shift how we power the lights of our world, and use non-polluting resources.

California is once again taking a leadership role with several initiatives — which should be considered by utilities and states around the world. This began with Gov. Schwarzenegger signing $3 billion in tax incentives towards new renewable resource development. He then joined with the Northeastern states in a "cap and trade" program that sets a price for carbon dioxide and uses the market to help drive more efficient technologies.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO), who operates the transmission grid, is proposing a new financing plan for transmission lines to access remote renewable energy resources. Often the best wind, geothermal and solar resource is located far from major cities and industry. High-voltage lines are the "electron highways" that deliver electricity to our homes and businesses. As a public benefit corporation, the ISO is creating a new payment mechanism for renewable developers to gain access to the transmission grid.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is ending state support for new coal-fired power plants unless they capture their greenhouse gases. California will not sign any new long term contracts with out-of-state coal-fired plants. Coal is the worst emitter of CO2, and if other states follow suit, this rule could dramatically shift how the U.S. produces electricity.

We are all buyers of energy from an electric utility. What if your Governor, Public Utilities Commission, and ISO made these same commitments towards clean energy and CO2 reduction? The lights will stay on, jobs will grow domestically and the air will be cleaner. It's a win-win for society, business and the environment.

In partnership for the planet,

Peter Meisen


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The Global Energy Network Institute focuses on the interconnection of electric power networks between nations and continents, with an emphasis on tapping abundant renewable energy resources. This strategy is the highest priority of the World Game simulation developed by Dr. Buckminster Fuller three decades ago.

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