The California State Assembly passed an historic bill Tuesday to decarbonize is electricity system, putting clean energy advocates one procedural vote away from a major victory.
A bill, which would require California to transition to a fully renewable energy grid devoid of fossil fuels by 2045, passed the state Assembly on Tuesday, bringing it one step closer to becoming a reality.
The bill has been under debate for nearly two years and has faced objections from utilities and oil companies and some Assembly members. But on Tuesday, the Assembly voted 43-32 in favor of the bill, which had been introduced by Sen. Kevin de León. Senate Bill 100 will now return to the state Senate, where it is expected to pass. It will then be sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.
Should the bill pass, California will be only the second state after Hawaii to pass a plan to rely solely on clean energy by 2045. But SB100’s ambitions don’t end there. The bill also ups the state’s clean energy goals, requiring that utilities providers generate 60% of their power from renewable sources by 2030. That goal had previously been set at 50% by 2030.
Despite federal attempts to roll back fuel economy standards and erode environmental protections, California has become a leader in combating climate change. In the last year, it introduced a requirement for solar panels on all new homes, extended its cap-and-trade program, pledged to sue the Trump administration over its plan to freeze fuel economy standards, all while exceeding its 2020 emissions target four years early.
And as the world’s fifth largest economy, these developments are not insignificant. If SB100 passes, California would become the largest economy in the world to commit to sourcing its 100% of its energy from renewable sources.