In recent years, California lawmakers have set ambitious new goals to mitigate climate change and air pollution that are affecting our state’s birds and people. Earlier this year, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, introduced another progressive bill intended to “ensure that California remains the world’s clean energy superpower and that we lead the nation in addressing the threat of climate change.”
SB 100 would put California on the path to 100% clean renewable energy by 2045. SB 100, sets an overall target of 100% renewable energy and zero carbon resources for California by 2045. To achieve this goal SB 100 accelerates targets set in de León’s 2015 legislation, SB350. SB350 set a mandate for 50% clean renewable energy by 2030. This new bill moves this deadline to 2026 and establishes a new RPS benchmark of 60% by 2030.
In a press conference on May 2, 2017 Senator de León emphasized that this bill is about the future and that reducing our carbon footprint goes hand in hand with creating good middle class jobs. Senator de León said “Clean energy is an extraordinary economic success story here in California. Solar, wind and other clean energy sources now employ over half a million Californians.” He called renewable energy "a pillar of our economy" that is growing and here to stay. He also emphasized that 100% renewable energy also means cleaner air and reduced asthma and other lung diseases affecting Californians today.
According to the California Energy Commission, California is ahead of schedule in meeting its Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) targets with about 27% of electric retail sales coming from renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric.
In addition to setting a goal of 100% renewable energy and accelerating the benchmark targets to get there, the bill also attempts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions by establishing new policies for “energy companies to capture uncontrolled methane emissions from dairies, landfills and waste water treatment plants and use these clean renewable fuels to replace natural gas” and “authorizes investor owned utilities to invest in cleaner transportation fuels such as hydrogen or methane gas from dairies for heavy duty trucks to replace dirty diesel fuels, provided there are no other cleaner options such as zero emission vehicles available.” The bill would also require state agencies to use the 100% target in their long term planning and decision making.
SB 100 passed the California Senate on May 31, 2017 and before the legislative break moved to the Assembly where it is making its way through committees.
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