California Going Carbon-Free by 2045
The California legislature has passed SB100, increasing renewable energy from 50% to 60% by 2030, and planning to be carbon-free by 2045. Just three years ago, California’s goal of 50% looked like a challenge. Thanks to the continuing rapid decline in the cost of solar, they are now confident of achieving 60% renewable energy in just 12 years.
Unlike our unimpressive performance at the federal level, California is showing us what real climate leadership looks like, when policy decisions are not being directed by the heavy hand of fossil fuel interests.
But California has been leading the country in this area for a long time. In 1966, then-governor Ronald Reagan authorized the creation of the State Air Resources Board. This led to the nation’s first tailpipe emissions controls, and paved the way for legislation to limit pollution in other states and at a national level.
Just 6 years ago, the people of California voted for an aggressive clean energy future. As expected, the fossil industry mounted an aggressive campaign, using scare tactics to claim it would destroy the state’s economy. In the next five years, however, they were proven wrong. California’s economic indicators far outpaced the rest of the United States, establishing that clean energy is good for the economy as well as for our environment. This advantage will become greater over time, for once the renewable investments are paid for, the energy cost is zero. Remember, only a fool would pay for fuel when you can get it for free!
The renewable energy future is good for our future in so many ways: More jobs, healthier families, energy security, getting rid of pollution, and stabilizing our global climate. It’s high time that we all recognize the true costs of carbon. California’s success is an inspiration to us all. Economically, we are really on the verge of a “Solar Spill.” Pass it on!