California legislation for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045 now on governor’s desk

Historic legislation to transition California to 100% clean, carbon-free electricity cleared its final legislative hurdle. Senate Bill 100 passed the Assembly floor today with 43 votes and now heads to Governor Brown’s desk to be signed into law.

The CA100 coalition (CA100.org), is a coalition of clean energy advocates, environmental organizations, environmental justice and equity groups, health experts, union representatives, religious leaders and many other California stakeholders that has built significant statewide support for California’s leadership in the transition to 100% clean electricity. The coalition drove more than 70,000 calls, emails, postcards, petition signatures and in-person meetings with Assembly members in support of SB100.

Bill coauthor Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) said on the Assembly floor before the vote, “There is no other issue but climate… Let’s show the world, who is watching, what we are able to achieve in California.”

“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Our state is burning, our seas are rising and our air quality is getting worse. We need to take steps now to stave off climate change before it’s too late. SB100 is a step in the right direction,” said Dan Jacobson, director of environment California.

“Today, state legislators proved to the world that climate leadership is alive and well in California,” said Laura Wisland, manager of Western States Energy for Union of Concerned Scientists. “The goal of 100% clean electricity is ambitious, but well within reach, and is critical to reducing global warming pollution from other sectors like transportation. The state has demonstrated multiple times that when it sets ambitious climate and clean energy goals it achieves them in record time.”

“California has long been the home of big thinkers, innovators, and change-makers, and with SB100 we’ll be unleashing that entrepreneurial spirit to solve the existential challenge of climate change,” said Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar. “Together we can and must build a 21st-century energy economy that benefits everyone. Let the nation and the world take note: a bright, prosperous and 100% clean energy future is 100% possible.”

“California just became the largest economy in the world to commit to a 100% clean energy grid,” said Paul Cort, the Earthjustice attorney who leads the California Right to Zero campaign. “While Trump is taking the nation backwards by deregulating and subsidizing the coal, oil, and natural gas industries in DC, California is rolling up its sleeves to build bold climate protections. Already home to 500,000 clean energy jobs and the largest manufacturing powerhouse in the United States, California is proving that it can be done.”

“CEJA applauds Senator de Leon and California for leading the nation with this critical transformative and equitable energy policy. SB 100 will transition our state away from fossil fuels that have disproportionately impacted the most disadvantaged communities and communities of color. The bill charts a pathway for the public health, economic, and job benefits of local renewable energy to reach communities that need it the most” said Gladys Limon, executive director, California Environmental Justice Alliance.

“A wider awareness is sweeping California that there is no more time to waste. We have to take every action available to us to avoid the worst effects of climate disruption. Our leaders finally seem to understand this, and have made the right decision in passing SB100. We need to keep marching along this path,” said Nicole Kemeny, President, 350 Silicon Valley.

“SB 100 is change on a large scale–a move into the fossil-free future that will echo around the country,” said Alan Weiner, chapter co-chair, 350 Conejo / San Fernando Valley.

“It’s bold, necessary, and achievable. This bill makes 100% clean electricity a reality. A child born today is a lot closer to a young adulthood untouched by smoggy days, thanks to this bill,” said Kathryn Phillips, director of Sierra Club California.

“Fossil Free California’s supporters up and down the state–and many others–have worked tirelessly for months to pass this bill. We thank all the Assembly members who voted for this bill for realizing that now is the time to act on climate.” said Deborah Silvey, board xhair of Fossil Free CA.

“In the absence of Federal action on climate change, SB 100 reasserts California’s role as a leader in transitioning to a more sustainable economy,” said Nick Lapis, director of advocacy for Californians Against Waste. “As the state is being ravaged by drought, wildfire and the other effects of climate change, it is more clear now than ever that we can’t continue to rely on fossil fuels.”

“Indivisible South Bay has been raising the alarm about the effects of Climate Change on California with the help of an organization known as Secure the Future 2100; California needs to push for change and a fossil free future, not only because of the disastrous effects of climate change on the planet, but because of very real consequences already being felt right here in California,” said Lisa Ferino of Indivisible South Bay.

“The Jewish teaching of bal tashchit, “do not destroy,” reminds us we are responsible for our impact on the planet. Converting to clean energy is fundamental to this responsibility and to passing on a livable world to our children,” said Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, of the California Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC-CA).

Californians across our diverse state overwhelmingly support 100% clean energy. In voting for SB 100 the Assembly has invested in a healthier state and future on behalf of their constituents. We still face many challenges in achieving a just transition from fossil fuels and protecting a stable climate. But 350 Bay Area recognizes the strong leadership of Sen. De Leon and legislators who stood up for this visionary bill today, said Kathy Dervin, legislative coordinator.

California is leading the way for a greener economy by passing the landmark SB 100. We hope that other states will follow suit and that the bill will send a signal to the market to encourage more investment in clean energy, writes Carolyn Curtis, on behalf of the Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley Steering Committee.

“We understand the need to move aggressively to address the causes of the growing climate disruption we are experiencing and of the need to remake the systems and infrastructure we rely upon to be sustainable, resilient, and equitable. SB 100 is a milestone on that path forward” said Thomas Runnion, Vice President, CWA District 9, AFL-CIO.

Following is a statement by Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association on the California Assembly’s passage of SB 100, the need for further legislation on near-term renewable procurement and on regionalization of the electricity market:

“The California Legislature’s bold move to advance legislation that requires 100% clean power demonstrates that massive advances in clean energy indeed make a carbon-free power grid a true possibility. As we await final confirmation in the Senate, this bill will lead to significant investment and jobs creation in California, and elsewhere in America. We urge Governor Brown to sign this legislation as soon as it hits his desk.

“To make this great legislative victory a practical reality, California must begin taking steps now to deploy renewable energy on a wide scale. That’s why we are asking lawmakers to also pass AB 893, which would require utilities to ramp up procurement of renewable resources. Without serious near-term action, ambitious long-term goals will be hard to reach. Furthermore, AB 813, legislation to create a regional electricity market that includes California and neighboring states will help accelerate renewable energy deployment in California and other areas of the West.

“We congratulate California for its groundbreaking legislation, and we encourage state lawmakers to push just a little more before the end of this session to set the wheels in motion to a real 100% clean energy future.”

News item from Vote Solar. Updated with SEIA comments at 10:50 am on August 29.

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