California's Clean-Energy Spending Meets Scrutiny

Some are saying California's payouts backing renewable energy have come at the expense of other important investments. (National Journal)

The Los Angeles Times had a not-so-favorable look this weekend at California's burgeoning investments in renewable energy. Some of the highlights:

"Even as California has scaled back education, law enforcement, and assistance to the disabled in this era of financial stress, the energy program has continued unrestrained and is expected to grow significantly in coming years."

Later in the piece:

"Some of the energy investments have gone bust, electricity costs have soared, and some economists have disputed the benefits. The legality of some consumer fees that fund the programs also is being challenged in court."

"You know the tale of Robin Hood? Well, this is robbing the 'hood," Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright told the newspaper. "You are taking from poor people to give to rich people."

Still, some clean-energy defenders said investments in clean-energy programs will pay increasing dividends down the road, positioning the state as a leader in conserving energy.