California could be set for an alternative energy Gold Rush with new billMarch 19, 2012
California legislators are considering a new bill that could mean a major financial boost in alternative energy throughout the state.
The bill would allow cities to create “Renewable Energy Zones,” which would not be subject to voter approval. In these zones, alternative energy projects would be funded by property tax revenue. City officials would determine how much of this property tax goes toward alternative energy projects and how much would be used for its original purpose.
The bill does not limit a city’s use of alternative energy, enabling each city to choose one or several options, including solar, wind, and hydrogen. Once a Renewable Energy Zone is established, city officials will be responsible for creating an infrastructure to support alternative energy projects.
The bill includes a plan that would help each city integrate their alternative energy projects with the state’s energy grid.
The bill is not without its share of opponents, of course. Some believe that using tax money for projects that not everyone believes in is wrong. Others have concerns regarding whether cities will actually work to establish alternative energy projects or if the will continue on as they always have. Thus far, state legislators have shown interest in the bill, claiming that it may set California up for a second Gold Rush, though this time with alternative energy rather than precious metal. Time will tell whether the law is able to survive the legislative process intact.