A new set of regulations has been approved by the California Energy Commission that will limit the purchase of electricity from power plants that fail to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions standards. These new regulations, which are part of SB 1368 (Petra), prohibit California's publicly owned utilities from entering into any long-term financial commitments with plants that exceed emissions of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.
SB 1368 was implemented as part of the Energy Commission's further implementation of AB 32 (Nunez), a bill that called for California to reduce emissions by 25 percent by 2020. SB 1368 directed the Energy Commission, in partnership with the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Air Resources Board, to establish a greenhouse gas emission performance standard for power plants. This standard was reached by evaluating existing combined-cycle natural gas baseload power plants across the west and is the same carbon dioxide measure approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.