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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
Days before hosting a global summit on climate change in San Francisco, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed SB 100, a measure that requires the Golden State to obtain 100 percent of its retail electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045.
Brown acknowledged the challenges in reaching that goal at a signing ceremony for the measure last Monday.
“California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change,” he said. “And yes, it is an existential threat. No matter what the naysayers may say, it is a real, present danger to California and to the people of the world.”
The bill, authored by former Senate pro Tem and current U.S. Senate candidate Kevin de León (D), requires utilities to obtain 60 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030, a 10 percent increase from the previous mandate.
“Today California sends an unmistakable message to the nation and the world: Regardless of who occupies the White House, California will always lead on climate change,” he said.
The anti-Trump sentiment that has been central in so much of the legislation passed by California lawmakers this year was front and center with this measure as well. Brown told reporters the bill sends “a message to California and the world that we are going to meet the Paris agreement and we are going to continue down that path to transition our economy,” a reference to President Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord last year.
He continued that theme an interview later with Politico, saying “Trump has made himself an outlaw on the matter of climate change” and calling the president’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement “about as reprehensible as any act that any American president has ever been guilty of.”
While emphasizing the clean energy bill was something California would be doing anyway, he said actions taken by the Trump administration have given the state’s efforts even greater urgency.
“The clash has intensified because Trump, more than anybody else in the whole world in terms of national leaders, is going in the opposite direction. He’s trying to subsidize coal, undermine vehicle emission standards, sabotage clean electricity, make it harder to buy electric vehicles and on and on. So, yes, we’re going on a certain course.”
In addition to signing SB 100, Brown issued Executive Order B-55-18, which directs the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and net negative greenhouse gas emissions after that.
“This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” he said.
The governor then used the Global Climate Summit as a backdrop for signing more environmentally-friendly bills, mostly aimed at boosting the use of electric vehicles. Those measures include SB 1014, which gives the state the power to set emissions reduction targets for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft; SB 957, which allows low-income Californians to obtain carpool lane stickers for clean cars bought secondhand; and AB 193, which provides rebates for replacement batteries and fuel cells in used vehicles. (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET, CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE, POLITICO, LOS ANGELES TIMES, SACRAMENTO BEE)