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California Legislature Drops Surcharge For Energy Research

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Solar Panels (AP)

Solar panels (AP – File)

SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — Lawmakers failed to renew a statewide utility surcharge before the end of their session, dealing a blow to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to promote alternative energy.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg on Monday called the failure to extend the public goods surcharge a “major bump in the road.” The bill, AB724, failed to receive two-thirds support in the Senate last week.

Brown wanted to extend the surcharge to help keep California at the forefront of the green-energy movement. It cost $1 to $2 on the average monthly household utility bill but raised about $400 million annually.

The governor wanted to make homes and businesses more energy efficient and subsidize renewable energy research. The surcharge has been in effect since 1997 and will expire at the end of the year.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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