Despite broad support, legislation that would create a renewable energy credit (REC) trading program unearthed disagreement about how to define the green attribute from power and who should own that credential. The green trading program proposal is included in SB 1478 by Senator Byron Sher (D-Palo Alto), passed 5-1 by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee April 27. The measure would also accelerate the 20 percent renewable supplies mandate from 2017 to 2010. On one side are renewables developers and some lawmakers who want to restrict the sale of the renewables credential of the green supplies to power produced in-state. Others want the REC program opened up beyond state borders. In addition, renewables developers are pushing to amend the legislation?s language that would designate the utility, not the producer, the holder of the green attribute. The provision ?would effectively take the [qualifying facilities?] property and transfer it to the utility, irrespective of the terms of the contract between the QF and the utility,? said Steven Kelly, Independent Energy Producers policy director. FPL Energy also insisted that the utilities should not automatically be designated the owner of the REC but that developers have some say in the matter. There also is a dispute among wind and geothermal developers over what power qualifies for the REC program. After the renewables portfolio standard became law, it was interpreted to disallow counting existing geothermal resources as part of the 1 percent annual procurement goal. Some renewables proponents worry that without restrictions on geothermal producers, specifically Calpine, development of new green supplies would be hindered because the firm?s considerable geyser power could absorb the bulk of green bids. Calpine lobbyist Kassandra Gough told the committee, ?SB 1478 encourages ?out-of-state? renewable generation to meet state RPS targets, while in-state qualifying facilities are being forced to seek sales outside the state.? At the same time, Calpine acknowledged wind generators? fears. To placate them, the company proposed amending the bill to exclude existing geothermal wells and replenished ones from renewables solicitations until 2008. SB 1478?s fate is also tied up with whether public power agencies will be required to meet the renewables portfolio standard imposed on investor-owned utilities. Covering all the state?s various public power agencies?long-standing and budding ones?is problematic because of their various resources and power portfolios, said Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach). Although the bill was amended to delete the inclusion of public agencies, the Assembly has made it clear that it will not pass Sher?s bill if it does not require munis to meet the 20 percent renewables level by 2010. The bill is supported by clean air advocates and Sempra. Currently, Sempra?s portfolio includes about 3 percent of green supplies. The current goal is 7 percent, but contracts to reach that amount have been hindered by a variety of problems?from permitting to transmission constraints?said Sempra lobbyist Cindy Howell. Creating a green trading program will give the company the flexibility to meet the renewables portfolio standard goals, she said. FPL, the biggest wind producer in the U.S., is pushing to allow out-of-state resources to count. The Senate committee also passed a bill that would revive the six-month expedited power plant certification process at the California Energy Commission through 2006. SB 1776 by Bowen, passed on an 8-0 vote, would rekindle the expedited review for ?environmentally benign? power plants and repower projects. The CEC?s expedited authority sunset at the end of last year. Bowen?s and Sher?s bills now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee.