California is going all in on clean energy. Legislators just passed a bill that puts the state on a path to become 100 percent reliable on clean energy by 2045, making it the largest economy in the world to enact such an environmentally friendly policy. Governor Jerry Brown has until the end of next month to sign the bill and make it official.
This is not the first eco-friendly move in the California state legislature. The state previously had a goal to become 50 percent reliant on clean energy by 2030, a goal the new bill upped to 60 percent. This past spring, legislators changed state building codes to require newly constructed houses to feature solar energy capabilities. The mandates show that California is looking to become a leader in environmental issues in the decades to come.
The historic bill comes amid a struggle with Donald Trump’s administration, which has been attempting to revive interest in traditional energy sources, such as coal, over renewable energy. Trump has also been relaxing regulations when it comes to the environment. California’s new bill flies in the face of Trump’s political agenda and is a victory for clean energy supporters. It also follows what has been a difficult year for California, as the state continues to deal with the aftermath of historic wildfires.
“Ongoing wildfires fueled by record-high temperatures and drier conditions exacerbated by climate change have shown us that we can’t wait any longer to tackle the climate crisis and move to clean energy,” said Michael Brune, executive director of Sierra Club.
California is not the only state to eye 100 percent clean energy. Hawaii passed a similar bill in 2015 and plans on fulfilling the initiative in 2045. Following California’s clean energy bill, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and New York are debating similar policies. Colorado and Maryland have also considered going 100 percent clean energy but did not have enough votes to pass it.
Legislators in California passed their clean energy mandate 44 to 33 votes. Democrat Gov. Brown is fully expected to support the bill in the coming weeks.