California Senate president Kevin de Léon has proposed legislation that would ramp up the state’s commitment to renewable energy. If enacted, the new law would mandate that the state get 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and 100% by 2045. Those targets are considerably more aggressive than called for by any other state other than Hawaii.
De Léon was the original sponsor of the state’s current renewable energy mandate, which calls for 50% renewable energy by 2030. He told the Los Angeles Times recently that the present legislation simply doesn’t go far enough. The new bill, known as SB 584, lacks details and is considered a placeholder that will be amended later. The deadline for new legislation was last Friday.
California has long been a leader in sustainable and renewable energy but it is far from alone. Cities and towns are also committing to 100% renewable energy. Last week, the cities of Pueblo, Colorado, and Moab, Utah became the first to commit to transitioning to full renewable energy since Donald Trump was elected. That makes the total number of cities in that category now numbers 23. They include Democratic strongholds like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco as well as Georgetown, Texas which is a Republican area.
Prior to being sworn in, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti described the wave of adoption of clean energy programs among states and cities this way. “It’s become normalized. It’s not just our city. It’s Michigan, it’s Colorado, it’s Texas, it’s Indiana, it’s South Carolina, it’s North Carolina, it’s Ohio, it’s Nevada. We’ve got cities everywhere. It’s small, it’s big, it’s in between. And it’s growing.”
A bill was recently introduced in the Massachusetts legislature that would mandate the state obtain 100% of its energy across all sectors — electricity, transportation, and manufacturing — from renewable sources by 2050. In that it includes all sectors of the economy, it is actually even more ambitious than the California initiative.
Renewables are gaining ground not for ideological reasons — although there are some people in the United States who are still are opposed to turning their country into a toilet for the waste products of fossil fuel consumption — but because the price of solar and wind power continues to fall. It just makes good business sense to invest in clean energy, especially since once the infrastructure is in place, there are no fuel costs associated with making electricity from the sun or the wind. Not even The Donald’s cockamamie ideas about expanding the use of coal as a fuel can withstand basic economic imperatives.
Source: Think Progress