The geothermal plant on the big island in Hawaii produces very inexpensive baseload renewable energy … but it still ain’t 1¢ per kilowatt hour. Photo courtesy of the Hawaii State Energy Office.
We need clean energy, and we need it ASAP. There are barriers to getting it done, including permitting, price, land-use issues, energy-water nexus issues, lobbying efforts by the fossil industries and the puppets they install in our government, and more. Capital projects can take years to develop as a result of these obstacles. On any given project, one of these barriers may be the biggest impediment or no impediment at all … it’s very case by case in renewable energy development.
Price is perhaps not the biggest challenge very often, as solar, wind, batteries, and even electric vehicles have all dropped enough in price that they can overcome polluting competitors in terms of cost per kilowatt-hour in most cases. But have you ever seen anything like 1 cent per kilowatt-hour?
The answer, of course, is efficiency. The cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one you don’t use, after all. But what does that mean, exactly, that there’s a price on something that doesn’t exist?
In Hawaii, we have a Public Benefit Fund (PBF), a small line-item surcharge placed on our electric bills. It might be a dime or a nickel on any given bill, but add it up across a state with more than a million residents and a whole lot of tourists on any given day, and the result is a pool of money big enough to do some serious good.
Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded efficiency and conservation program funded by the BPF, conducts everything energy efficiency, from rebates to direct install programs to education. Having a program like this with educated and motivated energy professionals has proven to be a tremendous step forward for Hawaii’s goals of 100% clean energy by 2045. Here’s a look at the challenge facing Hawaii, an island economy largely powered (currently) by fossils.
Hawaii’s energy mix is largely fossil powered, making the change to clean energy imperative to save the state money, as those fuel sources inevitably get pricier. Photo courtesy of the Hawaii State Energy Office.
“From July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, the program invested over $22 million to deliver more than 1.8 billion kWh in estimated lifetime customer-level energy savings at a rough cost of one cent per kWh. This is equivalent to building a 92 MW solar farm, enough to power 288,000 homes for a year. In addition, this will reduce greenhouse gas [pollution] by nearly 1.5 million tons.” (emphasis mine)
The state is moving the needle on energy in a big way, and efficiency has a huge part to play in that. The primary beneficiaries are, of course, the people of Hawaii. 1.8 billion kWh at our regular electricity rates would cost us $612 million. Investing $22 million seems like a reasonably good idea, no?
Through a combination of Energy Performance Contracts (EPC), direct install efficiency programs, education, and incentives for things like Energy Star refrigerators, Hawaii Energy has helped the residents of Hawaii drop their household energy consumption from an average of 584 kWh per month in 2011 to 482 kWh per month in 2017, roughly a 17.5% drop. This has contributed to a drop in the average residential electric bill from $202 in 2011 to $145 in 2017, a 28% drop, and amounting to a savings of about $700 per year per household.
Saving residents that money means that less money leaves the state to make oil tycoons in Saudi Arabia richer, and more money can circulate (and re-circulate) inside the state’s economy, boosting overall quality of life and economic conditions.
Hawaii spent $22 million to save $612 million for its residents. So … why isn’t every municipality doing this?
An email from JayInslee.com
[Editor: this is much more than a campaign solicitation for money. Check out Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America plan. – R.S.]
I recently announced my first policy proposal of this presidential campaign — a landmark proposal to move the country forward by leaps and bounds toward a 100% clean energy future.
My comprehensive 100% Clean Energy for America plan will achieve 100% clean electricity, eliminate the sale of new oil-powered vehicles by 2030 and require all new buildings to have 100% zero-carbon emissions. This is about ensuring a clean, safe, and prosperous future for each and every American.
Don’t just take my word for it: I put my entire proposal, word for word, right below this message. I encourage you to read it, all 2,840 words.
This builds off the significant progress we’ve made here in Washington state — progress that is already showing results. I’m the only candidate in this race who has actually run a government that has made climate change policy central to its administration, and we have made real progress as a result. I know firsthand how much economic and entrepreneurial opportunity there is in saving the planet. There’s incredible economic upside and job creation in investing to save our planet — and there’s no time to waste.
And that’s why I’m showing you the whole thing, right here, because we all have a huge stake in getting this right.
Very truly yours,
100% Clean Energy for America Plan
Governor Jay Inslee’s plan for 100% clean electricity, vehicles and buildings
Climate change is the defining challenge of our time — and it demands a bold and aggressive national policy for America. The next president must enact the most ambitious clean energy policy in American history, building on the success of states to create a 100% clean energy economy.
Governor Jay Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan will achieve 100% clean electricity, 100% zero-emission new vehicles and 100% zero-carbon new buildings. This plan will empower America to make the entire electrical grid and every new car and building climate pollution-free, at the speed that science and public health demand.
The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan is the first major policy announcement in Governor Inslee’s Climate Mission agenda — a bold 10-year mobilization to defeat climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs building a just, innovative and inclusive clean energy future, with meaningful targets and plans for execution based on his experience as a governor. Governor Inslee will announce additional major planks of his detailed climate plan in the coming weeks.
The climate crisis is urgent. Americans are already feeling its accelerating impacts — with front-line, low-income and communities of color being impacted first and worst. Since launching his climate-focused campaign, Governor Inslee has seen these impacts up close, from touring wildfire damage in California to flood damage in Iowa. He knows we cannot afford to wait any longer for action.
In a 2018 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made our challenge very clear: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the global community must cut climate pollution in half by 2030, and achieve global net-zero pollution by mid-century. Governor Inslee’s plans will ensure that America meets these IPCC targets and leads the world in defeating climate change. As the world’s largest historical emitter of climate pollution and the global leader in technology innovation, America will be among the first to achieve that net-zero target, as fast as possible, and by no later than 2045.
Governor Inslee’s 100% Clean Energy for America Plan is a 10-year action plan that starts with immediate executive action on day one. By 2030, his plan will:
Reach 100% zero emissions in new light- and medium-duty vehicles and all buses;
Achieve 100% zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings; and
Set a national 100% Clean Electricity Standard, requiring 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030, putting America on a path to having all clean, renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2035.
We cannot tackle the existential threat of climate change by merely addressing climate pollution from one sector of our economy. We must reduce it everywhere.
Collectively, the transportation, electricity and buildings sectors contribute nearly 70% of America’s climate pollution. It’s time to build our grid, modernize our auto industry, and invest in clean buildings to rise to the climate challenge and succeed in the coming global clean energy economy.
We know we can achieve this plan because it’s already happening in states, and in cities, tribal nations, and local communities. States have set aggressive renewable portfolio standards and passed 100% clean energy plans, all while Donald Trump has tried to undermine America’s climate progress. Governor Inslee led Washington state to pass the strongest policy for 100% clean electricity in the country, with the largest labor and environmental groups united in support. Now he will take that model national with the creation of his 100% Clean Energy for America Plan.
Mimicking actions taken in Washington state, this plan includes closing America’s coal-fired power plants and making major investments to ensure a just transition, including good-paying jobs for workers and support for vulnerable communities. Every region will begin its path to 100% clean energy from a different starting point, and this plan will meet each of them where they are — ensuring opportunity and participation for all in the clean energy economy.
The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan will require a massive, full-scale mobilization of our federal government that will spur major innovation and deployment of clean energy. Just as President Kennedy’s clarion call for a “moonshot” spurred major technological breakthroughs, these aggressive clean energy targets will provoke a clean energy revolution.
Instead of investing our tax dollars in fossil fuel companies, we will invest in deploying renewable energy, advancing battery technology, manufacturing the next generation of electric cars, and creating more energy-efficient buildings. In doing so, we will create demand for new manufactured products and skilled construction jobs, and spur major innovation in everything from building materials to advanced energy technologies. We can put millions of Americans to work building new energy solutions, sustainable infrastructure, and pollution-free communities. Furthermore, this plan will lead to massive savings over the long-term, as Americans pay less to heat their homes, fuel their cars and rebuild their communities hit by climate change.
Americans are already paying the price for climate change. Climate change cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion per year during the past decade, and that figure is projected to rise to $360 billion per year in the coming 10 years. We cannot afford the cost of inaction. We can choose between two roads: guaranteed economic decline from extreme weather, or increasing prosperity from a clean energy economy and low-cost, electrified transportation. Transitioning to 100% clean vehicles, buildings and electricity will free Americans from the stranglehold of rising gas prices and provide permanent savings on heating their homes.
Through a national Climate Mission agenda, we will mobilize America to confront climate change, end reliance on fossil fuels and build our clean energy future. The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan is a critical starting point: We must establish smart rules and clear goals if we are going to unleash a new generation of innovation. Implementation of this plan will begin on the Inslee Administration’s first day. And much of this plan can be accomplished using authorities and programs Congress has already established for the executive branch, including the federal Clean Air Act, while other elements will require new legislation.
During the coming weeks, Governor Inslee will introduce additional major policies as part of a national Climate Mission — including: increasing strategies to slash climate pollution from the transportation sector and from existing buildings; making major investments in clean energy jobs, infrastructure and innovation; supporting clean and competitive manufacturing and sustainable and thriving agriculture; advancing environmental justice and economic inclusion; and bringing an end to fossil fuel giveaways.
100% Clean Electricity
Through the 100% Clean Energy for America Plan, America will move swiftly to achieve 100% clean, renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation, using the strength of federal investment and policy to accelerate the transition that is under way thanks to state and local leadership. This clean electricity will be the backbone of our economy, powering our homes, vehicles, and industry.
The plan sets ambitious yet technologically achievable goals that respond to the reality of climate science, while unlocking a massive new wave of productive and job-creating investment. This plan includes:
Setting a bold national 100% Clean Electricity Standard, requiring utilities to achieve 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030, and all-clean, renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2035. This builds upon and accelerates momentum toward 100% clean electricity — policy that has been adopted in Washington state, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and a target to which more than 100 American cities and counties are committed, from Concord, N.H., to Columbia, S.C.
Guaranteeing support for workers and community transition — following Washington state’s model to ensure that the creation of clean energy projects results in many good, family-wage jobs, and that all communities benefit in the transition to a carbon-free power future. Includes promoting projects with businesses owned by women and people of color; apprenticeship utilization; prevailing wages determined through collective bargaining; and community workforce and project-labor agreements.
Establishing refundable tax incentives to speed the development and deployment of clean technologies — including renewable electricity, energy storage, smart grid and advanced transmission and distribution, as well as other zero-emission technologies.
Ensuring broad and equitable participation by working with utilities to increase on-bill investment in energy efficiency and distributed energy solutions, and making greater federal investment available to front-line and low-income communities — with priority placed upon comprehensive community-developed projects with multiple benefits.
Retiring the increasingly uneconomic U.S. coal fleet by 2030 to eliminate dangerous pollution and repower our economy with job-creating clean energy. Governor Inslee’s 100% clean electricity plan in Washington state includes a ban on coal power starting in 2025. And, as in Washington state, the 100% Clean Energy for America Plan includes support for workers and communities that are moving beyond coal power.
Using federal lands, offshore waters and facilities to deploy more renewable energy and transmission. The federal government can accelerate renewable energy deployment on public lands that contain enormous resources — especially in the West. For example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone in Clark County, Nev. now hosts 179 MW of solar power in job-creating clean energy projects that were developed more than twice as fast as traditional projects on public lands. Meanwhile, harnessing just 1% of our nation’s technical offshore wind energy resource potential could power more than 6 million American homes.
Activating existing federal energy financing programs (e.g. the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service and the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program) to catalyze new investments that further speed this transition. And providing direct grants for clean energy projects developed by non-profit and community organizations, local governments, and academic institutions.
Expanding long-distance interstate and interregional transmission of clean electricity through expedited planning, broad cost allocation, and negotiated siting with state authorities, Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy. And providing federal financing for anticipatory construction of transmission capacity to areas with significant queues of clean-energy generation capacity awaiting transmission.
Enhancing utilization of existing transmission and distribution assets through Dynamic Line Ratings, demand-response, new sensors and controls, battery storage, and resilient distributed energy resources.
Accelerating the evolution toward performance-based utility regulation that rewards utilities for delivering affordable, reliable, and zero-emission electricity.
By achieving 100% clean electricity we will enable our nation to meet more of its energy needs without burning fossil fuels, including for transportation and buildings — two of the other leading sources for the carbon pollution that is driving climate change.
100% Clean New Vehicles
The 100% Clean Energy for America Plan will achieve by 2030 zero emissions in all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and buses. These are crucial strategies for decarbonizing the transportation sector and eliminating tailpipe pollution that contaminates our air — and that especially harms front-line and low-income communities.
They are also essential for ensuring that U.S. industries stay at the leading edge of global automotive manufacturing, as our economic competitors in China, India and Europe are setting clear targets to move to 100% electric and zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).
This plan will ensure ZEVs are made in the U.S.A., by union workers, and that they are affordable for working families. ZEVs are already cheaper for American commuters to drive, with fuel costs averaging just $1.13 per “gallon,” compared with the $2.62 national average. Also, while vehicles represent a significant portion of U.S. transportation-sector climate pollution (light-duty vehicles account for approximately 60%), this plan will be followed by the release of additional proposals targeting pollution reductions in other modes of transportation. To reach 100% zero-emission new vehicles, this plan includes:
Implementing a new standard for clean cars — requiring robust annual improvements in vehicle emissions for light, medium — and heavy-duty vehicles to help break America’s oil addiction. This standard will accelerate the deployment of ZEVs, reaching 100% ZEVs in light- and medium-duty new vehicle sales by 2030.
Establishing a Clean Fuels Standard that promotes electric and other low-carbon alternative fuels for vehicles.
Dedicating significant new federal investments to support a diverse and robust American ZEV manufacturing base, including a critical materials strategy, as well as the creation and recycling of advanced batteries and component parts.
Expanding business and consumer tax credits to ensure availability and affordability of ZEVs and increase their adoption — including an extended and expanded consumer Electric Vehicle Tax Credit — and working with states to establish feebates to increase the value of ZEVs for new buyers.
Creating a new “Clean Cars for Clunkers” program to offer fuel-economy based trade-in rebates for consumers to exchange their fuel-inefficient cars or trucks for new ZEVs. Like the 2009 “Cash for Clunkers” program, this initiative will drive increased American auto manufacturing and sales, this time for ZEVs.
Requiring rapid electrification of the federal government vehicle fleet and working in partnership with state, local and tribal governments to accelerate electrification of their fleets. Federal procurement can dramatically increase market demand.
Partnering with states, tribal nations, local governments and utilities in a massive investment to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure. In Washington state, Governor Inslee created an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Bank to deploy investment in charging stations.
Providing federal financing to support state and local governments transitioning to zero-emission bus fleets for transit and school buses, and allowing transit agencies to retire diesel buses early without penalty. In addition to cutting climate pollution, zero-emission buses help eliminate harmful diesel pollution. States and cities throughout the U.S. are moving rapidly toward zero-emission buses; California, for example, has committed to all zero-emission new buses by 2029.
Together, these efforts will begin the transition of all new cars and buses in the U.S. to clean vehicles. In addition to clean cars and buses, the Climate Mission that Governor Inslee has called for will include a wide range of transportation-sector pollution-reduction strategies, including in large trucks and heavy-duty vehicles, aviation, marine, transit, rail, and other multi-modal solutions, as well as affordable housing, urban density, and smart growth.
100% Clean New Buildings
Finally, the 100% Clean Energy for America Plan includes immediate federal action to achieve before 2030 zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings.
Climate pollution from buildings increased a full 10% in the U.S. in 2018 — driven by natural gas used in space and water heating and cooling. This plan will reverse that trend, and improve indoor air quality, by increasing energy efficiency and taking advantage of clean electricity in building electrification. This includes:
Creating a national Zero-Carbon Building Standard by 2023, and partnering with states and cities to integrate this standard into new and stronger state and local building codes. This plan will include stronger federal incentives for local governments to enforce standards to adopt “stretch-codes,” and for building owners to more rapidly adopt advanced sustainability in new buildings. Here, too, states and cities are already leading the way: The city of Los Angeles has announced its plan for all zero-carbon new buildings by 2030.
Accelerating implementation of the federal Fossil Fuel-Generated Energy Consumption Reduction rule to eliminate by 2023 fossil-fuel use — including coal, fuel oil and natural gas — in all new and renovated federal buildings.
Directing federal agencies in 2021 to accelerate proven appliance energy efficiency standards and to promote zero-emission appliances — including water heaters and dryers. This will help make American-manufactured appliances both cleaner and more competitive in global markets, all while saving consumers money.
Providing federal funding to train builders, inspectors, energy managers, equipment technicians, and janitors in proven strategies that cut down on wasted energy in buildings.
Establishing tax incentives for energy efficiency and electrification in new construction of residential and commercial buildings, including targeted incentives for homeowners and building owners to install highly efficient heat pumps for space and water heating.
Dramatically increasing access to federal financing to fund both retrofits and new construction to upgrade schools and public building stock for federal, state, local and tribal governments.
Driving new private capital investment into clean energy projects by providing clear policy guidance for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and support for expansion of Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPCs) that promote both portfolio-scale green building retrofits and new net-zero energy construction.
Linking energy and climate pollution standards to expanded federal support for new construction projects, including through U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) investments, and federal housing tax credits, as well as through green mortgage products offered by federal housing finance agencies.
Renewing federal funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program to assist states and cities in expanding local investment in zero carbon construction projects.
This plan to reach zero carbon in all new buildings will be accompanied by additional proposals to address climate pollution from millions of existing buildings.
This is our moment to defeat climate change and to build our clean energy future.
Repost from the Los Angeles Times [Editor: Significant quote, Benicia in final paragraph – “In the absence of action at the state level, it has fallen to localities to prevent refineries from at least increasing crude oil imports to their facilities. Over the last decade elected officials in half-a-dozen communities from Benicia to San Luis Obispo County have blocked refinery infrastructure projects that would allow more crude oil imports. They’re the real heroes of California’s climate saga — too bad they won’t be the ones in the spotlight at the summit.” – RS]
Until California curbs its oil refineries, it won’t meet its climate goals
By Jacques Leslie, Sep 11, 2018 | 4:15 AM
While Gov. Jerry Brown and other California leaders bask under an international spotlight at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, there is one highly relevant topic they’re not likely to bring up: oil refineries.
That’s because refineries are crucially absent from California’s climate change strategy. The state has justifiably gotten credit for addressing climate change issues that the nation won’t — promoting renewable energy, cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emission limits, and electric vehicles — but it has backed off from challenging refineries, the centerpieces of California’s oil supply infrastructure.
Concentrated in Los Angeles’ South Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area, the state’s 17 refineries comprise the largest oil processing center in western North America. Unless emissions from those refineries are curbed, the state has no chance of meeting its long-range climate change goals.
Greg Karras, a senior scientist at Huntington Park-based Communities for a Better Environment, calculates that without restraints on refineries, even if emission reductions from all other sources hit their targets, oil sector pollution through 2050 would cause the state to exceed its overall climate goals by roughly 40%.
“Refineries have been largely exempted from the state’s cap and trade program, which charges fees for emissions.”
That’s primarily because refineries have been largely exempted from the state’s cap and trade program, which charges fees for emissions. Last year, the legislature extended the program for another decade, from 2020 to 2030, but only after bowing to the oil industry’s wishes. To win a needed two-thirds majority, cap and trade supporters exempted the industry from fees for all but a tenth of refinery emissions through 2030. The legislation also prohibited regional air districts from imposing their own limits on refinery carbon dioxide emissions, a severe blow to communities suffering from pollution from nearby operations. Instead of curbing refineries, these provisions gave them a decade-long free pass.
To make matters worse, the oil that is being processed is bound to get dirtier, resulting in a higher rate of greenhouse gas emissions throughout the fuel-production chain. Oil used by the state’s refineries already contains the highest intensity of greenhouse gas pollutants of any refining region in the country. As drillers pump the dregs from the state’s nearly spent fields, that intensity is increasing.
With California oil extraction in decline, its refineries will want to import more crude oil from other states and nations. That could include tapping the Canadian tar sands, notorious for its off-the-charts, climate-busting pollutants. Completion of the stalled Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in Canada would facilitate what Greenpeace calls a “tanker superhighway” from Vancouver to California ports. California refineries have tried to win approval for rail terminals and ports that would receive tar sands oil but have so far been blocked by local governments.
The refineries’ contributions to greenhouse gas emissions don’t end with their own production, of course. When the fuel they produce is used, it’s one of the primary contributors to climate change. As California shifts to renewable energy and electric vehicles, less refined fuel will be consumed here and more will be exported to other states and nations.
As a result, the state could become, in Karras’ words, “the gas station of the Pacific Rim.” And as exports grow to countries like India with lax environmental standards, refineries won’t even need to meet California’s more stringent regulations on fuel composition; instead, they will export more pollution.
The main reason state leaders have done little to limit oil supply is obvious: The oil industry remains a formidable adversary, wielding its financial and lobbying might to head off restraints. For virtually all Republican state legislators and a substantial number of Democrats, oil supply is too hot a topic to touch, Karras told me.
Meanwhile, state policy calls for greenhouse gas emissions to drop by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. Given the oil industry’s cap and trade refinery exemptions in place through 2030, the only way to achieve that level is to place drastic limits on refineries as soon as those exemptions expire, which is unlikely to happen. A more realistic approach would remove the oil industry’s exemptions and impose cuts of 5% a year on refinery emissions immediately — an urgent task that state leaders have shown no interest in carrying out.
In the absence of action at the state level, it has fallen to localities to prevent refineries from at least increasing crude oil imports to their facilities. Over the last decade elected officials in half-a-dozen communities from Benicia to San Luis Obispo County have blocked refinery infrastructure projects that would allow more crude oil imports. They’re the real heroes of California’s climate saga — too bad they won’t be the ones in the spotlight at the summit.
Plan to power California with all renewable energy clears major hurdle
By Taryn Luna, August 28, 2018 05:29 PM
The California Legislature is poised to send a bill to the governor that would require all retail electricity to be generated from solar, wind and other renewable energy sources by 2045.
Despite objections from utilities and oil companies, the Assembly voted 43-32 to eliminate fossil fuels in the state’s energy sector on Tuesday. Senate Bill 100, introduced by Sen. Kevin de León, must return to the Senate, and is all but guaranteed to reach the Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk before the legislative session ends this week.
“When it comes to fighting climate change and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, California won’t back down, ” de León said. “We have taken another great stride toward a 100% clean energy future.”
Climate activists and environmental groups have hailed the plan as a critical step forward in the battle against climate change. The bill’s passage in California will serve as a symbolic strike against the Trump administration, which has steadily attempted to erode environmental protections, roll back fuel economy standards and weaken existing rules meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fire plants.
Opponents have long argued that California’s efforts to combat climate change are futile and fail to make a substantial difference as the planet continues to warm. Some Assembly members warned the bill would hurt workers in the fossil fuel industry and raise prices for utility customers.
“We pass all these goals for renewables, but at the same time our families back home will pay the cost with an increase in the electric bills every year as we try to achieve this,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, is, R-Visalia.
The bill is opposed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas And Electric Company, Western States Petroleum Association, Agricultural Council of California and more than two dozen others.
The proposal toughens regulations in a state seen as a global leader on climate change.
State lawmakers set a goal two years ago of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders last year extended the state’s cap-and-trade program, a market-based system that allows polluters to buy permits for the greenhouse gases they emit, through 2030. Lawmakers described the cap-and-trade program as the state’s best tool to encourage companies to reduce their carbon footprint and allow the state to reach its greenhouse gas goals.
De León initially introduced SB 100 in 2017 and the Assembly held the bill, effectively killing it for the year. In addition to setting the no-carbon standard, the bill would revise interim goals along the way. The bill bumps up an existing target by four years to hit 50 percent renewable energy in 2027 and sets the state on track to meet the 60 percent threshold by the end of 2030.
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Vice President Al Gore wrote separate letters of support for SB 100. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to issue a directive on his first day of office, if elected, to put California on target to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. He has not publicly endorsed SB 100.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who is hosting a global climate summit in San Francisco next month, has also remained silent on the proposal.