Special interests dim opportunity for California to commit to 100% clean electricity

For Immediate Release

SACRAMENTO – Despite overwhelming support from 76 percent of its constituents, the California State Assembly today deferred a vote on the landmark Senate Bill 100, which would have committed the state to generating 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and zero-carbon sources by 2045. Defying both what’s best for the Golden State and the will of the people, utility companies and electrical unions succeeded in their last-minute ploy to push the bill to next year’s legislative session.

“We’re disappointed that special interests short-circuited the opportunity to pass SB 100 today,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “Californians are demanding a cleaner, healthier future. We thank Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León for authoring SB 100 and we'll keep building the momentum needed to pass the bill in January.”

Senate Bill 100 would accelerate California’s current mandate to achieve 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources from 2030 to 2026. It would also establish that California would generate 60 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent zero carbon and renewable electricity by 2045.

Because scientists agree that we must stop burning virtually all fossil fuels by mid-century to tackle climate change, Environment California and our sister organization CalPIRG have made this issue our top priority.

Through a 12-city press conference tour, face-to-face conversations with hundreds of thousands of Californians and social media outreach, Environment California raised awareness of the importance of committing to 100 percent renewable electricity. The bill earned the endorsement of a wide array of leaders in the environmental, public health, labor, environmental justice, faith, business and youth communities.

California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002 (Sher). The first law required California energy providers to generate 17 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. With California utilities ahead of the current clean energy goals that are enshrined in law, 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 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

“In so many ways, as goes California, so goes the nation,” Kinman said. “When the next session begins in January, the undeniable movement toward renewable energy will begin anew, stronger than ever.”