While President Donald Trump tries to ease environmental regulations and shirk responsibility for climate change, at the state level, the wind is blowing a different way toward clean energy and the elimination of greenhouse gases from electricity production. A growing number of states are pushing — and passing — renewable energy bills. Instead of generating power from finite sources like fossil fuel, they’re embracing solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources.
On Earth Day, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed legislation that the state would reach a target of 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. “Today, Nevada sent a message to the country and world that the Silver State is open for business as a renewable leader, and our commitment to growing our clean energy economy transcends party lines,” Sisolak said in his office’s press release.
Nevada is the fourth state to proclaim a goal of 100 percent clean energy. California, New Mexico and Hawaii have already passed similar bills. Washington, New York, Massachusetts and Illinois are hashing out clean energy legislation. Puerto Rico plans to take advantage of its sunshine, wind and water; last month, the territory passed a bill to power the island entirely with renewable energy by 2050.
Then, there are the cities. According to the Sierra Club, more than 90 U.S. cities have already set their 100 percent renewable energy goals, from little Abita Springs, Louisiana to giant Chicago. Six U.S. cities — Aspen, Burlington, Georgetown, Greensburg, Rock Port and Kodiak Island — have already succeeded. They now power themselves 100 percent with clean energy.
As Nevada Governor Sisolak has pointed out, clean energy can be good for employment as well as for the environment. According to his office, at the end of 2018, more than 32,000 people worked in Nevada’s renewable energy sector. The state’s new standards could boost this figure by another 11,170 jobs by 2030, adding $539 million in wages and boosting overall economic activity by $1.5 billion.
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