Sacramento – Today, the California State Assembly took major steps forward in the fight for a cleaner, healthier future for all by passing Senate Bill 350. Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León’s SB 350 requires 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources and doubles energy efficiency in buildings, both by 2030.
“Each day, drought, wildfires and record temperatures remind Californians that we must act on climate, and we applaud Senator De León and the Assembly for acting today to pass SB 350,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate for Environment California. “By setting aggressive renewable energy and energy efficiency goals, we can protect our health, environment and economy, and set a strong example of other states and countries to follow.”
Already, California’s clean energy economy is a success. Over 54,000 Californians are working in the solar industry and $11.7 billion were invested in solar installations statewide in 2014. The passage of SB 350 will ensure that California builds on its clean energy successes to date, spurring innovation, creating local green jobs, and creating cleaner air and a healthier planet for all.
Earlier in the week, the third original goal of SB 350 – decreasing petroleum use in vehicles 50 percent by 2030 – was stripped from the bill as result of pressure on state assembly members from the petroleum industry’s well-heeled and manipulative campaign against the bill. All while a strong majority of Californians (73 percent) support reducing petroleum use, according to recent polling from the Public Policy Institute of California.
“Today’s votes for SB 350 reflect the long-held values of Californians for a swift transition to a 100 percent clean energy future,” said Kinman. “California can power itself entirely on clean energy resources like wind, geothermal and solar power. Mandating that the state double its use of energy efficiency and generate half of its electricity from renewable energy is a huge move in the right direction.”
SB 350 has earned the support of a large and diverse set of individuals, businesses and organizations, including: U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and 26 other members of the California Congressional Delegation, and U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer; more than two-dozen California companies, such as Levi Strauss, Dignity Health; top leaders in the arts and entertainment community, and dozens of environmental, environmental justice, public health and faith-based non-profit organizations.