California Sets Goal to Utilize 100% Renewable Energy by 2045

Jo Lloyd
September 14, 2018

Brown's remarks came Monday during an interview with The Associated Press after he signed the bill setting a goal of generating all California electricity from clean sources by 2045. President Trump has denied climate science, begun steps to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, and worked to expand the use of coal, one of the most polluting fuels, to generate American electricity.

"It's impossible to overstate how significant it is for a state as large and influential as California to commit to 100 percent clean energy", said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

Brown, who has positioned California as a global leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, approved the measure as he prepares to host a summit in San Francisco of climate change leaders from around the world starting Wednesday.

The legislation also increases the state's clean energy goals from 50 percent to 60 percent by 2030. In a poll in July by the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-partisan research organization, 67 percent of likely voters said they favored the 100 percent clean energy measure, and 21 percent opposed it.

"[The bill] is sending a message to California and the world that we are going to meet the Paris agreement and we are going to continue down that path to transition our economy", he told reporters.

The California governor has taken on the mantle of leading the USA effort to combat climate change as President Donald Trump has sought to roll back environmental regulations and support coal-fired power plants. Nevertheless, pursuing 100% renewable energy has never been more important, as we get closer to entering a time that scientists say will be the point of no return from irreversible climate damage.

Senate Bill 100 raises the state's already ambitious goals for producing electricity from wind, solar and other green sources.

"Those who don't want it are going to be foisting very high prices on California, and I think there will be resistance to that", Brown said.

"California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change", Brown said before he signed the bill in Sacramento. Hawaii has adopted a similar goal.

Utility and oil companies resisted the legislation, arguing that it would lead to electricity price hikes for consumers and have negligible impact on cutting Carbon dioxide emissions.

But electricity accounts for only 16 percent of California's emissions.

Now, as the state fights a battle against the EPA and the Trump administration to maintain its ability to lead the nation in clean cars, the California Legislature has passed a new plan to radically clean up power plants.

While California has been a leader on reducing the amount of electricity it gets from burning fossil fuels, the state has struggled to be as forward-leaning in reducing the greenhouse gas pollution spewed from cars and trucks.

Senator Kevin De Leon wrote the bill in hopes of protecting California as well as future generations from the effects of climate change.

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