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Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366,
news@cpuc.ca.gov Docket #: R.07-09-008



SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, 2008 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today created the California Institute for Climate Solutions (CICS), taking a bold and innovative approach to expanding California's leadership on this most pressing of environmental issues.

The mission of the CICS is based on these essential pillars:

· To facilitate mission-oriented, applied and directed research that results in practical technological solutions and supports development of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electric and natural gas sectors, or otherwise mitigates the impacts of climate change in California.

· To speed the transfer, deployment, and commercialization of technologies that have the highest potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electric and natural gas sectors.

"California leads the nation in aggressively battling global warming with our policies to reduce greenhouse gases and our ambitious energy efficiency and renewable energy goals," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "I applaud the CPUC for taking another important step by creating the California Institute for Climate Solutions, which will bring together the state's preeminent colleges, universities, and laboratories to fight climate change."

Commented CPUC President Michael R. Peevey, "Today we have embarked on another groundbreaking path to find solutions to the most pressing problem of our time. Innovation - technological and otherwise - is the key to alleviating the adverse consequences of climate change. The CICS will allow us to devise and deploy the most cost-effective solutions by mobilizing our financial and human capital."

The work of the CICS will be directed by a Strategic Plan that will identify potential areas of research, maximize consumer benefit, and minimize unnecessary redundancy. The Strategic Plan will identify those areas of research and technological innovation that are most likely to achieve the greatest greenhouse gas reductions in the energy sector at the lowest cost.

The CICS will have a Governing Board that will be responsible for ensuring that it fulfills its mission. In order to retain CPUC oversight, the Governing Board will be co-chaired by the CPUC President and the University of California President, with seats reserved for the State Senate and Assembly, and the Director of the CPUC's Division of Ratepayer Advocates. Other members will be drawn from other state agencies, universities, utilities, private firms, underserved communities, and consumer/environmental advocacy groups.

A Strategic Research Committee chosen by the Governing Board will be responsible for three main tasks: developing a Strategic Plan by March 13, 2009, and updating it on an annual basis; assisting the CICS officers in developing short-term and long-term strategic plans; and reviewing grant proposals recommended by a peer review committee.

The Governing Board will have the power to establish any subcommittees necessary to perform its duties and responsibilities. At a minimum the following subcommittees will be formed: a Technology Transfer Subcommittee to establish protocols for CICS IP rights and tech transfer policies; a Conflicts of Interest Subcommittee to develop and maintain conflict of interest protocols for CICS as a whole; and a Workforce Transition Subcommittee to study ways to support the energy sector's transition to a carbon-constrained future through anticipating and preparing for changes in workforce needs. If the study supports having the CICS fund grants for workforce training, the CPUC may allocate appropriate funds.

The funding for the CICS, $60 million per year for 10 years, is an investment in California's future and will directly benefit ratepayers, the CPUC determined. The CPUC has charged the CICS Executive Director with obtaining 100 percent matching funds over 10 years in order to maximize ratepayer benefits. The CPUC will maintain extensive continuing oversight over the CICS and will require two external audits - a biennial performance review and an annual financial audit.

The mission of the CICS is consistent with the purpose and findings of Assembly Bill 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and Senate Bill 1368, regulating emissions of greenhouse gas from electric utilities.

The proposal voted on by the CPUC is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/AGENDA_DECISION/81119.htm.

For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.


Statement from CPUC President Michael R. Peevey,
presented at the April 10, 2008, CPUC Meeting

· Today we have an opportunity to blaze one of many new paths to solve the climate challenge. I hope we can all join in this endeavor.

· Before I move the item I would like to offer my thanks to the people who have worked to develop the concept for the Institute and to craft today's decision.

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