RIVERSIDE - Local supporters, elected officials, medical professsionals, and environmental groups gathered at UC Riverside's Center for Environmental Research and Technology to urge passage of Senate Bill 100 (De León). SB 100 will ensure that California generates 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2045.
“We are 100% ready for 100% clean energy,” said Casey Cousineau, organizer with Environment California. “Clean energy is good for our planet, good for our communities, and good for our economy. We must take action now to ensure a 100% clean energy future for California.”
SB 100 has passed the State Senate as well as two key committees in the State Assembly. It now awaits action by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Action is needed before the legislative session ends for the year on September 15, 2017.
As Dr. Angelov Farooq, Founding Director for UC Riverside Center for Economic Development & Innovation, said, “The timing could not be more ideal or more important for SB100 to pass. We have the workforce, the will and the technology to make it happen.”
California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002 (Sher). The first law required California energy providers to generate 17% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Subsequent bills have ramped up the clean energy standard. SB 350 (De León) was the last clean energy bill to pass two years ago, requiring that California energy providers generate 50% renewable electricity by 2030.
California utilities are ahead of the current clean energy goals that have been enshrined in law.
Brinda Sarathy, Director of the Robert Redford Conservancy of Southern California Sustainability, stated, “SB 100 is nothing short of visionary for the country. It shows how California can and continues to light the way at a truly historic crossroads.” Sarathy went onto say, “California and the inland empire are here to chart a new and better path forward. As a state and region, we embody the possibilities of a green and sustainable economy. We have the resources of sun and wind, we have the will of the people, and we have the vision of those in state government.”
Students at UC Riverside have been rallying behind this bill and the Inland Empire’s hopes for green energy. “My generation is the first to directly feel the impacts of climate change, and we want to be the generation that is going to do something about it,” said Tim Hughes, UCR sophomore and CALPIRG Chapter Chair.
“Moving to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will have significant health benefits in California,” said Karen Jakpor, MD, a member of the American Lung Association in California’s Doctors for Climate Health group. “By reducing dangerous emissions from power production we can all breathe easier, especially those suffering from lung diseases like asthma and lung cancer.”
A recent report by Environment California Research & Policy Center found that California has seen a 2,583% increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a 245% increase in wind power production over the past decade. The report, Renewables on the Rise, makes the case that the progress we’ve seen in California and around the country on renewable energy and technologies like battery storage and electric cars should give Californians the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.
Today's event was held at UCR's Center for Environmental Research and Technology features solar paneled car ports that power the building - bringing the college's innovation to life.
“The best way to stave off the worst impacts of climate change is to generate 100% of our electricity from clean energy sources as soon as we can,” concluded Ronald Loveridge, Former Mayor of Riverside.