By Nick Cahill
SACRAMENTO – Countering the Trump administration’s call for more coal and oil, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday inked legislation that requires utilities to obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045.
The climate change mandate forces utilities to incrementally ditch fossil fuels in favor of renewable electricity and joins the Golden State with Hawaii as the only states wholly committed to a zero-carbon energy sector.
Brown says Senate Bill 100 puts California in line with the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement and prepares the state for the “existential threat” of climate change.
“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,” Brown said at a bill signing ceremony.
Author and State Sen. Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, says SB 100 will ensure that California’s energy grid won’t “poison” residents while simultaneously creating jobs in the energy industry. A U.S. Senate candidate, De Leon has been working on the ambitious energy legislation for nearly two years.
“Regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change,” De Leon said. “Here in California, Democrats and Republicans agree: climate change is real, it’s here, it’s deadly and it’s extraordinarily expensive.”
The signing comes as the 80-year-old governor prepares to host a global climate conference later this week in San Francisco. The three-day event will feature discussions by climate scientists and appearances by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as representatives from the United Nations.
California took another stab at the Trump administration over the weekend, with Brown signing legislation to bar any new offshore drilling operations within state waters. The measures, Assembly Bill 1175 and Senate Bill 834, prohibit state agencies from granting new leases for pipelines and other oil infrastructure projects within three miles of California’s coastline.
The Governor’s signing message for SB 100 can be found here.
The text of the executive order can be found here.