California, Here We Come, Right Back Where We Started From
As California’s energy woes continue, the Bush administration is considering easing air-pollution rules to make it less difficult to build power plants in the state. On a related note, Bush last week asserted that environmental regulations in the state were “preventing California from having a 100 percent max output at their plants — as I understand there may be — then we need to relax those standards.” But he’s wrong, both power companies and air-quality officials say. Nearly every power plant in the state is in fact operating at full capacity. Meanwhile, some power companies in California are aggressively encouraging consumers to conserve more energy. Up north in Washington state, which has had to send some its energy to California, Gov. Gary Locke (D) has proposed legislation with $7 million in tax breaks to spur use of renewable energy sources and hold down power rates for low-income residents.