California takes first big step towards 100% clean energy

On July 12th, the California Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee approved Senate Bill 100, taking an important step towards setting a statewide goal of moving to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. SB100 establishes a bold new target for California’s energy future by increasing the current renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to ensure 60 percent of California’s electricity comes from clean and renewable sources of energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045. 

If SB100 becomes law, California would join Hawaii as the only state in country to have a target of generating 100 percent of all electricity from clean and renewable sources of energy like wind and solar. According to the Hawaii House of Representatives, progress towards meeting the state’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045 has already saved the state “over a quarter of a billion dollars by reducing reliance on more expensive fossil fuels.”

Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club California Director, issued the following statement:

 

“While the federal government abandons its commitments to clean energy, California is showing that we will continue to drive the transition away from fossil fuels. With today’s vote, California is now one step closer towards moving to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. Senate Bill 100 reflects not only our state’s commitment to reduce climate and air pollution, it builds on our ingenuity and the strength of our workforce. Now that SB100 has passed the Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee, it is critical to move it quickly to the floor and the governor’s desk. ”

BACKGROUND: SB100 responds to a pressing need for an increase in clean energy, especially in a state where 90 percent of residents live in an area where the air is unhealthy to breathe. Fossil fuel power plants are overwhelmingly located in low-income communities and communities of color. SB100 will protect these vulnerable populations by reducing one of the leading contributors to the environmental threats they face. Meanwhile, the bill would expand the ever growing clean energy economy that employs hundreds of thousands of people in California.

 

SB100 promises to reduce the impact of climate change by limiting fossil fuel use, in addition to creating productive new jobs in the renewable energy sector. The passing of SB100 establishes California as a global leader in the environment, especially important as the federal government fails to commit to renewable energy. Eight California cities have already established goals of transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy across their communities. Santa Barbara recently became the 37th city in the United States to adopt this goal when its City Council voted last month to move to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

 

The Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee’s passing of SB100 will pave the way for other states to follow and will ultimately help the United States meet the emissions reductions outlined in Paris Agreement.

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