It’s a pissing contest that could help save the planet. California’s governator Schwarzeneger signed an executive order yesterday mandating that 30% of the state’s power come from renewables, such as solar and wind, by 2020.
The order trumps Hawaii law, which earlier this year required 25% of the state’s energy to come from renewables by 2020.
The collective ego that is California has a history of portraying itself as the nation’s leader on progressive issues, especially protecting the environment. It seems that Hawaii’s leadership came as a threat to that stance just at a time when California suffers from an implosion of its public finances. Whether California’s more progressive stance on renewables is in itself sustainable remains to be seen. It also begs the question: How will Hawaii’s policymakers respond?
Superlative contests again, the real winner of this one-up-manship between Hawaii and California over renewable energy may be all of us.