On May 1, California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) on introduced an amended version of Senate Bill 100, The California Clean Energy Act of 2017, in the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, which would put the Golden State on the path to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2045.
In doing so, he noted, “California already has the most ambitious climate targets in the world and the most aggressive renewable energy targets of any economy of its size. We lead the nation in renewable energy generation, clean tech venture capital investment, patent creation, and clean car technology.”
Setting the bar higher
In 2015, the state Legislature passed SB-350, The Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act (also sponsored by De León, et al), which set a 50 percent clean energy standard to be achieved by 2030.That bill also set new requirements for doubling energy efficiency and for wide-scale transportation electrification deployment.
In addition, in August 2016, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill SB-32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2016, which required the state to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
This new legislation sets the bar even higher, de León acknowledges. “California’s experience over the last decade offers hard evidence that we can dramatically expand clean energy while also growing our economy and putting people to work,” he said. “This measure will 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 is intended to do the following:
- Establish an overall state target of 100 percent clean energy for California by 2045 by directing the California Public Utilities Commission, California Energy Commission, and the state Air Resources Board to adopt policies and requirements to achieve total reliance on renewable energy and zero carbon resources by that date.
- Accelerate SB 350’s 50 percent mandate for clean renewable energy from 2030 to 2026, and establish a new renewable portfolio standard (RPS) benchmark of 60 percent by 2030, in order to ensure more clean energy in the California grid sooner.
- Set 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.
- Authorize investor owned utilities to invest in cleaner transportation fuels, such as hydrogen or waste 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.
In introducing the latest legislation de León derided the Trump Administration’s efforts to back off on climate change legislation. He told The Sacramento Bee this week, “It’s like jiu jitsu.“They go back, we go forward.”
Standing in front of a solar farm on the UC-Davis campus as they discussed the legislation, the local news outlet said, de León and other Senate Democrats took pointed jabs at Trump. In a reference to the White House’s efforts to revive the coal industry, de León said California has created more clean energy jobs “than there are coal mining jobs in the nation.”