California on the path to 100 percent clean energy

California is now the largest economy in the world to adopt a plan to reach 100 percent clean, renewable energy within the next three decades.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 10 signed Senate Bill 100 authored by Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin De León, which accelerates California’s 2030 Renewable Portfolio Standard target from 50 percent to 60 percent and creates a policy goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

“This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” said Brown.

SB 100 will transition California to 100 percent fossil-free electricity, and will further bolster the state’s economy.

“In California, Democrats and Republicans know climate change is real, it’s affecting our lives right now, and unless we take action immediately – it may become irreversible,” said de León. “With Governor Brown’s support, California sent a message to the rest of the world that we are taking the future into our own hands; refusing to be the victims of its uncertainty.”

SB 100, which de León ushered through the Senate on May 31, 2017, would up the ante by demanding 100% renewable energy generation in California by 2040.

De León is also the chief architect of SB 350, which committed California to generating 50% of its electricity through renewable means by 2030. By 2016, the Golden state generated 46% of its electricity renewably, putting the state on track to reach the 2030 goal years in advance and generating hundreds of thousands of local jobs in the process.

Solar, wind, energy efficiency, and other clean power sources now collectively employ over half a million Californians - there are already nearly ten times more clean energy jobs in California alone than there are coal-mining jobs in the entire nation.

California continues to set the standard for leadership on policies to prevent climate change from further eroding the safety and health of our great state, and our great nation.

The legislation also had the backing of Former Vice President Al Gore and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, with both writing letters urging the California Legislature to pass SB 100.

“Transitioning to an entirely carbon-free energy grid will create good-paying jobs, ensure our children breathe cleaner air and mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities and economy,” said de León. “California is now the largest economy in the world to commit to a 100% clean energy future. This new law will drive innovation, create jobs and clean the air we all breathe.”

“The signing of SB 100 is really about making history,” said assembly member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego. “Our future is one that is committed to renewable energy.”

Gonzalez Fletcher said the passage of this bill is “showing our children, showing the entrepreneurs in California, showing people and skeptics through out the nation that this state can lead.”

“While the Trump administration convinces people to buy dirtier power, California is going to continue to go in the opposite direction,” Gonzalez Fletcher said.

Tom Steyer, an American billionaire hedge fund manager, philanthropist, environmentalist, liberal activist, and fundraiser, said “California is doing what actually needs to be done.”

Steyer talked about environmental justice saying that “what we see is this state has been using the energy policy not just to move toward clean energy but also to redress the environmental injustice that has been foisted on our poor communities, our community of color for decades.”

María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782, @TuValleTuSalud