Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Interminable Chronicles of Democratic Idiocy

Great news for renewable energy fans!

After two years of trouble with the legislative effort to institute his “Million Solar Roofs” plan, Arnold Schwarzenegger hit pay dirt today when the California Public Utilities Commission enacted the California Solar Initiative or CSI. This CSI involves not forensic pathology but the biggest solar energy program in the country, roughly $3 billion in rate-based customer incentives over the next decade to install solar power devices to generate 3000 megawatts of electric power, the equivalent of a half-dozen big new power plants, on the rooftops of one million homes, businesses, and public buildings. That’s ten times the solar power now harnessed in California.

What one should focus on, besides the fact that one of the greatest environmental actions in the State's history was done by a Republican governor, is the first sentence. "Two years of trouble with the legislative effort." Who would control such legislative efforts? It's the Democrats of course, who have shown no restraint in their efforts to maim Schwarzenegger politically even when he's clearly trying to accomplish something Democrats should be behind. Here's the guts of it:

In late spring of 2004, Schwarzenegger looked around and asked his staff what happened to the bill to fulfill his campaign pledge to solarize California buildings. A bill was hastily put together, but died a relatively quick death.

In 2005, things were better organized, and the solar roofs plan became Senate Bill 1, a bipartisan venture between liberal LA state Senator Kevin Murray and conservative Orange County Senator John Campbell (now California’s newest congressman). SB 1 took flight from the Senate on a wave of bipartisan support, environmentalist backing, and acclaim from editorials around the state, only to run afoul of opposition from organized labor and Democrats in the Assembly who were determined to deny Schwarzenegger an image-boosting win as he pushed his ill-fated “Year of Reform” initiatives in the hotly contested special election.

Way to go, Democrats. Nice job derailing a sensible environmental plan for partisan gain. (H/t: Kaus!)