U.S. News

Califonia on Path to 100% Carbon Free Electricity

The Scoop:
Monday (Sept 10) Gov. Jerry Brown Signed a legislation (SB 100) that would put California on path to eliminate fossil fuels from its energy sector. Making it the second state to do so, after Hawaii

The Story:

The Global Climate Action Summit, which will be host in San Francisco, was organized to encourage regional bodies, such as cities and states, to step up their own efforts to fight climate change where national governments have failed to act. Ahead of a summit this week meant to galvanize regional action on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation that would put California on the path to eliminating fossil fuels from its energy sector.

Senate Bill 100 speeds up the state’s timeline for moving to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and requires that all retail electricity be carbon-free by 2045. California is the second state to adopt such a goal, after Hawaii.

It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,.. California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.
– Brown

The measure is a strike against the Trump administration, which has pulled back the United States from efforts to confront climate change by withdrawing from an international accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, loosening fuel economy standards and weakening rules to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Today California sends an unmistakable message to the nation and the world: Regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change..
– State Sen. Kevin de León.

The bill was initially introduced last year, but stalled in the Legislature amid heavy resistance from electric utility companies, oil companies and labor unions. Opponents argued that SB 100 would not make a substantial difference to global emissions as the planet continues to warm.

With the backing of political heavyweights like former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Vice President Al Gore, it finally won approval from lawmakers last month. Supporters noted that the state’s largest utilities have already surpassed a mandate to generate a third of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and most other retail sellers are on track.

SB 100 increases how much of California’s electricity portfolio must come from renewables by 2030 from to 50 to 60 percent. It establishes a further goal to have an electric grid that is entirely powered by clean energy by 2045.

At the SB 100 signing ceremony, Brown also announced an executive order directing California to achieve carbon neutrality, meaning it will remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits, by 2045. The state has previously committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The order, which could be revoked by a future governor, instructs the California Air Resources Board to develop a framework for reaching carbon neutrality. Board officials said strategies could include capturing and sequestering carbon in agricultural products, such as soil, and building materials, as well as thinning out forests to reduce wildfire risk and restoring ecosystems, like wetlands and meadows, that act as natural “sinks” for carbon dioxide.

Source: Sacebee

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