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Arts & Culture

NOVA: The Big Energy Gamble

Wind turbines at Oak Creek Energy Systems Wind Farm in Mojave, California.
Cass Sapir
Wind turbines at Oak Creek Energy Systems Wind Farm in Mojave, California.

Airs Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Arnold Schwarzenegger is betting on green. He wants to roll California’s greenhouse gas emissions back to their 1990 levels, and he’s promising Californians that their lifestyles — and their pocketbooks— won’t feel the pinch. But is Schwarzenegger gambling with his state’s economy?

With help from eco-celebrities like Ed Begley, Jr. and Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” NOVA examines California’s aggressive pursuit of a sustainable energy future. From San Francisco’s Luscious Garage, where mechanics create custom plug-in hybrids for customers like Google, to the Tehachapi Valley, where thousands of wind turbines are spinning out electricity, "The Big Energy Gamble" takes viewers to the places where green energy is already becoming a reality. Yet some critics fear that, as the nation struggles through an economic meltdown, the state’s new policies are inviting dire consequences. Will California be a role model for the rest of the country or a cautionary tale?

Watch a preview below or the complete program online.

Preview: NOVA: The Big Energy Gamble