The California state Senate passed Senate Bill 100 (SB 100) today, affirming the state Assembly’s vote yesterday. SB 100, which would put the state on a path to generate 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and zero-carbon sources such as solar and wind by 2045, now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for his signature.
“California is on the bright side of history, creating healthier communities today and a more livable future,” said Dan Jacobson, state director of Environment California, one of 29 state affiliates of Environment America. “This vote is about what we value. California is saying there's nothing we value more than our children and grandchildren -- and their inheritance must include clean air and a healthy planet.”
Scientists agree that to forestall the worst impacts of climate change, we must stop burning virtually all fossil fuels by mid-century. SB 100 takes that urgency into account by incorporating renewable energy into a plan devoted to long-term sustainability.
“Climate change has been exacerbated over the years by our society’s focus on short-term growth and convenience over what’s best for our people and our planet,” said Rob Sargent, Environment America’s clean energy program director. "Acting on climate change means changing our priorities. If we focus on smart growth, not growth at any cost; if we elevate the quality of our lives over the quantity of stuff we produce; if we put our trust in innovating industries over dinosaur industries -- we're confident renewable sources can provide more than enough energy for all of us."
SB 100’s interim goals include harnessing 50 percent of California’s electricity from renewable sources by 2026, and 60 percent by 2030.
While Environment America celebrates this victory in California, we call for more cities and states to embrace similarly bold goals. In Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and a handful of other states, renewable energy bills are either already under consideration, or in the works.
California is hosting the upcoming Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco during the second week of September. By signing SB 100 in advance or during that event, Gov. Brown can set a great example for the American and world dignitaries in attendance.
“Regardless of where you live or your political affiliation, the time is now for clean energy,” Sargent said. “We’re calling on Governor Brown to sign this bill. The challenge and consequences posed by climate change will only get tougher each day we delay this pivotal transition.”