This week, Gov. Jerry Brown joined several other governors at the U.S. Climate Alliance in New York, saying: “We’re all in and we’ll keep going and eventually Washington will join with us because you can’t deny science forever. You can’t deny reality. And that reality is climate change is occurring.”
Last week, California’s Senate Bill 100 didn’t make it to the governor’s desk but those who support making California carbon neutral by 2045 aren’t giving up. The bill would have accelerated the state’s existing goals to decarbonize the state’s power grid, with the requirement that California reach 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
It’s an ambitious goal.
As of 2015, about 28 percent of energy from the state’s three largest utility companies came from renewable sources, according to the California Public Utility Commission. Ambition might outpace existing technology because it would require breakthroughs in energy storage to meet the goal.
Southern California Edison opposed the bill, arguing customers could be burdened with high costs.
The bill’s proponents disagreed, saying the new milestones are within reach and affordable, and the legislation itself serves as a driver of innovation in the clean energy sector.
“I think it’s really obtainable,” said Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, the California senate president pro tem who introduced the bill. “Three decades into the future gives us plenty of time to really figure this out.” Legislative efforts such as SB 100, “send a clear message to Washington that with or without them we’re going to move forward with clean energy because it’s the right thing to do and it can be done.”
SB 100 may have been derailed but several bills regarding California’s air quality sailed through. Two bills, AB 109 and AB 134, are on the governor’s desk and they have ambitious standards of using the state’s cap and trade money to replace diesel engines in heavy trucks and buses to make them electric vehicles.
PIE IN THE CLEAN SKY?
A look at how a carbon-neutral state might look:
California already has the most solar jobs and industry experts said the state could continue to outpace the rest of the U.S.
According to the most recent California Green Innovation Index, job growth outpaced the rest of the country by 27 percent after the state passed its landmark Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006. The index also found that in California for every fossil fuel job, there are…