California chooses a 100 percent clean energy future

Media Contacts

Environment California

SACRAMENTO – California is shining a light on the future of energy. The state Assembly voted today to pass the landmark Senate Bill 100, which if passed by the state Senate and governor, will ensure that California generates 100 percent of its electricity from renewable and zero-carbon sources by 2045.  

“Once again, California is on the bright side of history, creating healthier communities today and a more livable future for our children,” said Dan Jacobson, state director of Environment California. “We applaud Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember Gonzalez-Fletcher and all our Assemblymembers for acting on the long-held values of Californians for a swift transition to a 100 percent clean energy future.”

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

Environment California led the coalition inside and outside the capitol to build the support necessary to pass the bill. More than 250 organizations in the environmental, public health, labor, environmental justice, faith, business and youth communities wrote letters in support of SB 100. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 72 percent of Californians support the bill.

Senate Bill 100, authored by State Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León, will accelerate California’s current mandate to achieve 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources from 2030 to 2026; it will also establish that California generate 60 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent zero-carbon and renewable electricity by 2045.

California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002. That law required California energy providers to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2017. With California utilities progressing ahead of the current clean energy goals enshrined in law, subsequent bills have ramped up the clean energy standard. SB 350, also proposed by De León, was the last clean energy bill to pass three years ago, requiring that California energy providers generate 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

Especially as California gets ready to host the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September, Environment California urges the Senate to vote in favor of the bill, which has only minor changes to the bill the Senate already passed. Then, Environment America calls on Gov. Jerry Brown to sign Senate Bill 100 into law, raising the bar for clean electricity in California and setting a strong example for states across the country to follow.

“In so many ways, as goes California, so goes the nation,” Jacobson said. “This is a tremendous step forward on the road to a comprehensive clean energy future. Now, we need to put the pedal to the metal to fully electrify California’s transportation and heating sectors and leave a dirty, fossil-fueled past behind.”