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article imageCalif. Assembly votes for 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045

By Karen Graham     Aug 29, 2018 in Environment
Sacramento - California state legislators voted Tuesday to transition the state to a carbon-free energy grid by 2045, making it the second state - behind Hawaii - to set such an objective.
Senate Bill 100 goes back to the Senate for a vote on revisions and after getting Senate approval it will go to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Although he has not commented on the bill, it is widely expected he will sign it, making Bill 100 one of the crowning accomplishments of his administration, which ends in January.
The legislature's commitment to renewable energy comes just a couple weeks before a Global Climate Action Summit that Governor Brown is hosting in San Francisco beginning Sept.12, reports Inside Climate News.
The vote also comes on the heels of a sobering report detailing the effects of climate change on the state. California's Fourth Climate Change Assessment was released Monday. Among the many impacts California has to look forward to if carbon emissions are not reduced includes a 77 percent increase in the average area burned by wildfires and up to 67 percent of the state's coastline hit with erosion.
"After a grueling year it has finally passed," tweeted state Sen. Kevin de León, the Los Angeles Democrat who sponsored the measure. De León is challenging fellow Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein for her U.S. Senate seat in November and was in the Assembly chamber on Tuesday to help round up the final votes needed for passage.
File photo: GR s 2.5 MW Turbine
File photo: GR's 2.5 MW Turbine
GE Renewable Energy
California already has a strong clean energy mandate
California is the most populous state in the union and is also the fifth largest economy in the world. The state already has a commitment to obtain 50 percent of its electricity from wind, solar and geothermal power by 2030. S.B. 100 would increase that 2030 commitment to 60 percent, on the way to fully carbon-free electricity by 2045.
California has really made astounding jumps in the changeover to renewables in the last decade. Ten years ago, only 11 percent of its electricity came from renewables. Today, the state gets 29 percent of its power from renewables and 24 percent from hydropower and nuclear.
In 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to set a carbon-free energy goal. With California joining the Aloha State, the action will be a landmark in the global effort to drive down carbon emissions, according to The Guardian.
"While Trump is taking the nation backward by deregulating and subsidizing the coal, oil, and natural gas industries in D.C., California is rolling up its sleeves to build bold climate protections," said Paul Cort, an attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice who led the California Right to Zero campaign.
More about California, assembly vote, Clean energy, CarbonCeramic, Climate change
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