Thanks for your comments Nathan. I agree an emission standard would be a good policy guideline for states to adopt - and also would drive innovation toward the goal.
I don't think this legislation anticipates politicians micro-managing engineers' work. What it does do is establish policy objectives and then ask the commission to look at ways in which the utility revenues can be aligned with those policy objectives.
If an investor owned utility earns money for their investors by investing in infrastructure, there is - understandably - an inclination toward that solution. What the legislation suggests is that perhaps there is a better revenue model the commission may be able to identify that would both earn money for the utility's investors while accomplishing the service and policy goals of the state. Then it asks the commission to investigate those potential options.
As with your suggestion for the emissions standard - it doesn't define the methods to get there, but tries to put the right mechanisms in place such that a utility which performs well will earn on that performance - and as a result, will innovate toward performance and policy objectives.