Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill on September 10, that sets a goal of 100 percent clean electricity for California by 2045. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that aims to eliminate fossil fuel use for electricity by 2045 and serves as a rebuke to USA withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
He also signed a bill, SB100, making the state's electricity completely emissions-free by 2045.
The new law, along with an executive order Brown signed directing California to take as much carbon dioxide out of the air as it emits, represent the latest in a string of ambitious environmental initiatives as California seeks to fill a void left by President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and his efforts to boost the coal industry.
ROMERO: The legislation calls on electric utilities to move faster toward previous renewable energy goals. "We believe customers must be protected from unreasonable rate and bill impacts". This will require large investments across all sectors - energy, transportation, industrial, commercial and residential buildings, agriculture, and various forms of sequestration including natural and working lands, Brown said.
Jerry Brown says he hopes a law he's signed moving California toward eliminating fossil fuels for electricity will serve as a model for other state and national governments.
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The Sierra Club, noting that California has the world's fifth largest economy, stated, "California is now the largest global economy to commit to 100 percent renewable energy".
California is the most populous state to agree to such aggressive decarbonization and only the second state to formalize such a pledge in legislation, after Hawaii. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) requires the state to obtain all of its electricity from clean sources - such as solar, wind and hydropower - by 2045.
Here's what we know about this new era for California.
Under the new law, California will aim to hit 50 percent renewable energy in 2025 and 60 percent by 2030.
"We've reached all these great goals with renewables, but at the same time our families have paid the price with an increase in their electric bills every year", said Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, during the Assembly debate.
Emissions are falling. Since 2004, as renewable energy has boomed, California's greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 13 percent, even as the economy has grown by 26 percent over the same time. It also is less restrictive on technology, allowing any carbon-free resources to qualify including large hydroelectric dams and nuclear power. Others say the goal of 100 percent renewables is not realistic because wind and solar power are not always available.