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California spends big money on alternative energy

LOS ANGELES — California has spent billions of dollars in recent years on alternative energy programs, even as education, public safety and other spending was cut, a newspaper reported.

Over the years, state money has funded some failed projects and private companies with political ties, the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/16GLqlv) reported Sunday.

"Suddenly, you look up and there are literally hundreds of millions of dollars going into investments that produce marginal benefits," said state Sen. Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, who sits on the Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee.

For example, California agencies are investing nearly $15 million to build hydrogen fueling stations, though there are little more than 200 hydrogen-powered vehicles in California. Other purchases include milk trucks that run on cow manure.

Typically, projects are paid for with little-noticed consumer fees or small charges on electricity bills. A $3 fee on license plates is paying for the hydrogen fueling stations.


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