EXECUTIVE ORDER D-26-01


WHEREAS, on January 17, 2001, I proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist due to the energy shortage in the State of California; and

WHEREAS, there is a high probability that the electricity supply shortage will cause rolling blackouts throughout California affecting millions of Californians; and

WHEREAS, all reasonable conservation, allocation, and service restriction measures will not alleviate this energy supply emergency; and

WHEREAS, this energy supply emergency poses a threat to public health, safety, and welfare and requires the siting of new powerplants that can be on-line to avoid electricity supply shortages this summer and next;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GRAY DAVIS, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, do hereby issue this order to become effective immediately:

IT IS ORDERED that local, regional, and state agencies referred to in this Executive Order shall undertake the tasks described herein as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of accelerating the availability of new generation sources to the State.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED
that all state and local agencies are hereby authorized to shorten the review periods to seven (7) days for environmental documents prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act for all powerplants that are not subject to the jurisdiction of the California Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (hereinafter "Energy Commission") and that are proposed to be on-line by the summer of 2001.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED
that the Energy Commission shall take immediate steps as directed below and shall expedite its licensing process in the following ways:

  1. The Energy Commission shall expedite the processing of Applications for Certification for peaking or renewable powerplants pursuant to Public Resources Code section 25705 for construction and operation by July 31, 2001. Peaking or renewable powerplants that have a current contract with the Independent System Operator and can be on-line by July 2001 may also apply to be permitted by the Energy Commission under the emergency siting process. All such proposals shall be considered emergency projects under Public Resources Code section 21080(b)(4).
  2. Public Resources Code section 25552, which provides a license for a simple cycle thermal powerplant within four months, shall apply to any proposed simple-cycle thermal powerplant that can be brought on-line by August 31, 2002, and that has an application for certification accepted by the Energy Commission as complete by December 31, 2001. All restrictions in section 25552 shall be suspended to the extent that they would prevent, hinder, or delay the prompt mitigation of the effects of this emergency.
  3. The Energy Commission's regulations for the expedited licensing of powerplants pursuant to Public Resources Code section 25550 shall not require an applicant to secure emission offset credits at the time of filing of an Application for Certification.
  4. The Energy Commission shall conduct a study of potential peaking powerplant sites in the state and prepare a report to the Governor by February 21, 2001, identifying those areas of the State that would benefit from the installation of peaking powerplants to augment supplies and ensure reliability through the summer of 2003.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, in the interest of timely review and coordination, all local, regional, and State agencies involved in the licensing of proposed thermal powerplants in California shall participate to implement the State's emergency energy facility siting process in an expeditious manner consistent with the objectives of environmental protection and the protection of the public health and safety. All such agencies shall diligently review proposed license applications and provide timely comments to the Energy Commission as the Energy Commission requests. In addition, any agency that must make a decision subject to the California Environmental Quality Act on a site or related thermal powerplant proposal shall use the final staff report prepared for public hearings in the Energy Commission's licensing process in the same manner as the agency would use an environmental impact report prepared by a lead agency unless the Energy Commission determines another document is more appropriate for a specific site or facility.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the California Public Utilities Commission shall ensure that the investor-owned utilities responsible for interconnecting generation facilities sited pursuant to the process described in this order complete necessary transmission interconnection studies within seven days of receipt of the completed application.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED
that the Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board may contract for the services of necessary qualified personnel to perform these functions. Each is authorized to enter into such contracts as expeditiously as possible and for this purpose shall be exempt from the provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code applicable to state contracts, including, but not limited to, advertising and competitive bidding requirements, to the extent that they would prevent, hinder, or delay the prompt mitigation of the effects of this emergency.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this order shall expire on December 31, 2001 unless extended by further executive order responding to the continued need for emergency action to deal with the electricity emergency or unless terminated by proclamation of the Governor or concurrent resolution of the Legislature that the state of emergency has ended.

The activities herein are authorized to be carried out pursuant to the Emergency Services Act, Government Code section 8550 et seq.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this order.