California’s Million Solar Roofs bill dies

Lowlight snippets from the press:

Good public policy became the victim of short-sighted partisan politics.
The Million Solar Roofs bill, authored by State Senator Kevin Murray (D-Culver City) and supported by Governor Schwarzenegger as well as more than 200 cities, businesses and organizations throughout the state, aimed to build 3,000 MW of solar panels on a million roofs, including half of all new homes, in ten years growing the market by 30-fold – enough to make the industry self-sustaining.The bill was derailed when it reached its second to last stop, the Assembly Appropriations Committee where three amendments were added to the bill after intense lobbying of two labor unions, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the State Building Trades Council. Two other unions, Carpenters and Laborers, opposed these amendments, two of which were geared toward electricians.

A solar fade-out

Most people think of such green legislation as the kind of quixotic scheme Democrats love, and in fact it was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City). But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Veto) supported it from the beginning, and it had broad bipartisan support. That is, until it got caught up in the Democratic leadership’s fight with Schwarzenegger over his special election, and the labor unions got involved. Big labor hijacked a needed solar power initiative that would have benefited both workers and consumers.