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For Immediate Release: September 22, 2005
Contact: Susanne Garfield-Jones 916-654-4989

Energy Issues Queue Up for Policy Hearings


Sacramento - Starting the final phase of establishing California's energy policy, the Energy Commission begins hearings on the draft 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) tomorrow. A year of record energy prices, surging demand for gasoline, diesel and natural gas, and hurricanes in the Gulf that have damaged much of the country's production facilities and infrastructure, has made Californians more aware how vulnerable their energy supply is.

The biennial IEPR examines ways to ensure adequate electricity supplies, reduce energy demand with efficiency and alternative resources, improve California energy infrastructure and cut statewide greenhouse gas emissions. The report provides a blueprint of energy recommendations for the Legislature and other state agencies.

The Committee draft 2005 IEPR looks at challenges facing the state's transportation, electricity and natural gas industries, tackling controversial issues such as transmission reliability, liquefied natural gas, adequate electricity supplies and building and permitting petroleum facilities.

"The IEPR is the state's major energy policy document, providing a way for state, local, and federal government participants, energy companies, public interest groups and other stakeholders to help solve the state's energy problems," said California Energy Commissioner John Geesman, Presiding Member of the IEPR Committee.

To address the Governor's recent request that the Energy Commission develop and articulate a clean coal policy, Chairman Joseph Desmond provided additional information for the Committee and the public to consider and make comments during the hearings.

"The effects of this disastrous hurricane season underscore the critical energy issues facing the U.S. and California," said Energy Commission Chairman Joseph Desmond. "Lost petroleum and natural gas production in the devastated Gulf Coast will impact everyone's energy bills this winter, whether they are heating their homes, powering industry, or generating electricity. To protect us all, California must reduce its growing dependence on natural gas. We must diversify our energy fuels."

Commissioner Geesman added that, "The Committee is looking forward to participation from every industry and environmental group on all these important issues. Their input is invaluable in developing clear, concise and balanced energy policy."

Five days of Committee hearings begin September 23, 2005, in Sacramento to allow the public and others to comment on energy issues set forth in the draft IEPR and draft Strategic Transmission Plan. Dates and topics include:

September 23, 2005
Draft Strategic Transmission Plan

September 27, 2005
Global Climate Change, Water/Energy and Border Energy

September 29, 2005
Transportation

October 6, 2005
Demand-side Resources, Distributed Generation, Renewable Resources, "Clean Coal" and Nuclear

October 7, 2005
Electricity Needs and Procurement Policies, Transmission, Clean Coal" and Natural Gas

The draft of the 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report is on the Energy Commission's website at:

www.energy.ca.gov/2005publications/CEC-100-2005-007/CEC-100-2005-007-CTD.PDF

Chairman Desmond's Memo to the Committee is on line at:

www.energy.ca.gov/2005_energypolicy/documents/#general

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