While the Trump administration may be trying to reinvigorate fossil fuel usage, California is going in the opposite direction and set a goal of zero-carbon emissions by 2045. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 100 which will mandate public utility companies to obtain all their power from renewable energy sources before the next two decades.
California and Hawaii have aligned themselves with the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement to systematically ditch fossil fuels. Environmentalists say the steps are necessary to save our environment and our planet from the “existential threats” of climate change.
“Climate Change Is Real, It’s Here, It’s Deadly and It’s Extraordinarily Expensive,” De Leon Says
“SB 100 is sending a message to California and the world that we’re going to meet the Paris Agreement and continue down that path to transition our economy to zero-carbon emission, and to have the resiliency and the sustainability that science tells us we must achieve,” Gov. Brown disclosed.
State Sen. Kevin De Leon, declared that with SB 100, California’s commitment to renewable electricity sources will improve the health of residents. The U.S. Senate hopeful, who had devoted the last couple of years promoting SB 100, added the initiative will create more jobs within the energy sector. De Leon emphasized that climate change is real and imminent and that California will spearhead the campaign for clean energy regardless of the administration in power.
Gov. Brown signed SB 100 in readiness for a world climate summit scheduled to hold later this week in San Francisco. Members of the U.N., top climate experts, as well as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg among others will address participants on the imminence of climate change and the way forward at the event.
In another move to demonstrate to the Trump administration that California is serious about ditching fossil fuels, Gov. Brown signed two more bills into law. Assembly Bill 1175 prohibits any new offshore drilling activities within state waters, and Senate Bill 834 stops state agencies from approving new applications for oil and pipeline projects within three miles of California waters. With the two bills, the Trump administration might be forced to abandon its plan to sell off new oil leases in the Pacific Ocean.
California Leads The Way in Targeting Carbon Neutrality
Former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and top celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio applauded Gov. Brown for signing SB 100, but several critics and utility groups condemned the move. Some critics said the reliability of California’s electricity grid will be threatened by the bill, while others said poor residents of the state might have to pay more for electricity.
Yet some said the bill is not feasible and that it constitutes a regulatory burden.
Unfazed by the critics, Gov. Brown invoked an executive order stating that California must obtain carbon neutrality and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
“With Gov. Brown’s order, California establishes the most ambitious carbon neutrality commitment of any major economic jurisdiction in the world – of more than 20 countries and at least 40 cities, states and provinces planning to go carbon-neutral by mid-century or sooner,” Brown’s office said.