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The “Perfect Storm” for Renewable Energy: Policy Drivers and Decisionmaking

March 2011

Citation: 41 ELR 10179

Issue: 3

Author: David Lazerwitz (moderator), Joshua Basofin, Ashley Conrad-Saydah, Roger Johnson, and Sue Kateley

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, AB 32, multiple memoranda of understanding, and recent Executive Orders have created a “perfect storm” of renewable energy policies, making California the hottest place for large-scale renewable energy development in the country. These policies and laws have inspired collaboration among multiple agencies, streamlined project review processes, and triggered substantial engagement from stakeholders throughout the state and country. On September 29, 2010, the Environmental Law Institute brought together a panel of experts representing federal and state agencies industry, and the environmental community to discuss the successes and pitfalls of the policies, the lesson learned, and what the panel believed should be done in the future to either protect or improve the regulatory framework for developing renewable energy.

David Lazerwitz is an attorney at Farella, Braun & Martel. Ashley Conrad-Saydah works as the California renewable energy program manager for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Roger Johnson is the manager of the California Energy Commission’s (CEC’s) Energy Facilities Siting Office and has worked with the CEC for 30 years. He also represents the CEC on several renewable energy planning and permitting initiatives. Sue Kateley is the executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association. Sue has over 30 years of experience in developing and implementing energy policies and programs with a particular focus on renewable energy and advanced technologies. Joshua Basofin is the California representative at Defenders of Wildlife, where his principal focus is on issues related to renewable energy. Josh represents Defenders in solar-thermal plant siting cases and has participated in several applications for certification hearings before the CEC. In addition, Josh has substantial experience with Defenders on fisheries, watersheds, and wetland issues.

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