More than a dozen states strive for 100 percent renewable energy

Environment America launches campaigns in 15 states
For Immediate Release.

BOSTON -- In 2019, Environment America and its state affiliates played a key role in convincing New Mexico, Maine and Washington to make commitments to 100 percent clean or renewable energy. On the heels of those landmark victories, the national nonprofit organization announced today it is calling on fifteen additional states in 2020 to enact similar renewable energy goals. 

“Burning fossil fuels damages human health and destabilizes the climate. We’ve been stuck on that path for a long time, but now there’s a better one: renewable energy from the sun and wind,” said Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America’s Clean Energy program. “One state at a time, we’re laying out a vision of a better, cleaner future. And across the nation, we’re seeing Americans and leadership respond by setting goals to reach that future. Last year’s successes are just the beginning.” 

Following a landmark victory in California in 2018, Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaign set out to get 10 states to set ambitious renewable energy targets by 2023. To date, six states have enacted laws requiring 100 percent clean electricity by 2050 or sooner.

“States have a golden opportunity to continue moving the ball forward, and those that are aiming high are already seeing big results” said Emma Searson, Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaign director. “By 2019, the United States produced almost five times as much renewable electricity from the sun and wind as it did just ten years earlier. Committing to a healthier future powered fully by clean, renewable energy should be a no-brainer, and we’re here to make sure states take action sooner rather than later.”

The following state groups and staff are playing key roles promoting 100 percent clean and renewable energy. They are available for additional information and interviews:

Arizona

Emma Searson directly oversees Environment Arizona's renewable energy work. Along with a set of over 24 diverse groups, Environment Arizona is calling on the Arizona Corporation Commission to increase its Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and to set a standard of 100 percent clean, zero-emission energy by 2045.

Connecticut

Chris Phelps, (860) 231-8842, cphelps@environmentconnecticut.org, is the director of Environment Connecticut. Environment Connecticut is urging the legislature to require that 100 percent of Connecticut's electricity come from renewable and carbon-free sources by 2040. This comes after Gov. Ned Lamont signed a 2019 executive order calling for a plan to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

Florida

Ryann Lynn, (386) 243-9224, rlynn@environmentflorida.org, is the climate and clean energy advocate at Environment Florida. Environment Florida helped introduce State Renewable Energy Goals (HB 97) and the companion Renewable Energy bill (SB 256), which set a target of 100 percent renewable energy for the state by 2050. The group is also encouraging local governments, colleges and universities, and other major energy users to commit to transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy.

Georgia

Jennette Gayer, (404) 370-1764, jennette@environmentgeorgia.org, is the director of Environment Georgia. Environment Georgia is driving the adoption and implementation of 100 percent clean energy commitments in many of Georgia's largest cities with the goal of introducing statewide 100 percent legislation.

Illinois

Abe Scarr, (312) 983-2789, abe@illinoispirg.org, is the director of Illinois PIRG. During his campaign, Gov. J.B. Pritzker committed to 100 percent renewable electricity. Illinois PIRG and its sister group Environment Illinois are members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition that has introduced legislation to codify that commitment as part of a broad collection of clean energy and carbon emission reduction policies.

Maryland

Kate Breimann, (410) 467-0439, kbreimann@environmentmaryland.org, is an advocate with Environment Maryland. Environment Maryland is building public support and momentum for renewable energy in the state, with the goal of introducing 100 percent renewable energy legislation.

Massachusetts

Ben Hellerstein, (617) 747-4368, ben@environmentmassachusetts.org, is the director of Environment Massachusetts. This session, Ben and allies are supporting An Act re-powering Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy (H.2836, S.1958). The bill puts Massachusetts on track to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 100 percent renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045, and is supported by a majority of state legislators.

Michigan

Nathan Murphy, (517) 303-8692, nmurphy@environmentmichigan.org, is the director of Environment Michigan. This session, Nathan has worked with Rep. Yousef Rabhi to introduce House Bill 5420, which would set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and is supported by 30 cosponsors, and with Sen. Stephanie Chang to introduce a companion bill in the Senate (S.B. 763).

Minnesota

Tim Schaefer, (414) 687-7632, tschaefer@environmentminnesota.org, is the director of Environment Minnesota. Environment Minnesota is advocating for a bill that will require 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 in Minnesota and a statewide moratorium on oil and gas pipelines, gas plants and any other new fossil fuel infrastructure. 

New Jersey

Doug O’Malley, (917) 449-6812, domalley@environmentnewjersey.org, is the director of Environment New Jersey. Environment New Jersey is working to strengthen the state Energy Master Plan to include a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This comes as Gov. Phil Murphy embraces a broader clean energy goal of transitioning away from fossil fuel technology.

North Carolina

Drew Ball, (336) 978-9699, dball@environmentnorthcarolina.org, is the director of Environment North Carolina. Environment North Carolina is supporting a resolution that calls for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. State Rep. Pricey Harrison introduced the House Bill (HB767), and Sen. Wiley Nickel introduced a companion bill in the Senate (SB513). 

Oregon

Celeste Meiffren-Swango, (503) 231-1986 x318, celeste@environmentoregon.org, is the director of Environment Oregon. Environment Oregon supports a November 2020 ballot measure to commit the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

Pennsylvania

David Masur, (267) 303-8292, davidmasur@pennenvironment.org, is the executive director of PennEnvironment. This session, bipartisan groups of state legislators reintroduced legislation in both the House and Senate to transition the commonwealth to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. State Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) introduced the House bill (HB 1425), and Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware County) sponsored the Senate version (SB630). Pennsylvania’s legislation is believed to be the first of its kind led by a Republican, and is now co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 100 legislators.

Wisconsin

Megan Severson, (608) 251-1918, megan@wisconsinenvironment.org, is the director of Wisconsin Environment. Wisconsin Environment is encouraging the state, along with local governments and major energy users, to transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

Virginia

Elly Boehmer, (847) 775-9778, eboehmer@environmentvirginia.org, is the director of Environment Virginia. Last year, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order setting a goal of producing 100 percent of the commonwealth’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Environment Virginia supports codifying that target through a legislative commitment to 100 percent renewable energy.