September 16, 2017

Clean Energy Bill Failure a Disappointment

Statement by Laura Wisland, Union of Concerned Scientists

OAKLAND, Calif. (September 16, 2017)—On Friday, September 15, the California Legislature failed to pass the 100 Percent Clean Energy Act. Had the bill, SB 100 (De León), passed and been signed into law, it would have set an ambitious goal for California to accelerate the state’s primary renewable energy program, known as the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), by raising the current requirement from 50 to 60 percent by 2030. It also would have set an ambitious new policy for all electricity produced in the state to come from resources that don’t emit global warming pollution by 2045.

In 2016, California met 25 percent of its retail electricity needs with eligible renewable energy resources that include solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. The state is on track to exceed the current 2030 goal.

Below is a statement by Laura Wisland, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and a leading expert on grid modernization and integration of renewable energy sources.

“We are disappointed, but not discouraged. As so many Californians have said, our future is a clean energy future and our momentum will not stop despite the failure of SB 100 to pass out of the state Legislature this year.

“This legislation would have set a bold and necessary long-term goal for the state. We are encouraged that conversations at the end of the year were not about whether a zero-carbon electricity grid is the right path but rather what that path should look like. It is not surprising that in a state as large as ours with so many interests at stake that some details of a bold, new energy policy will take more time to hammer out.

“We look forward to continuing the discussion and negotiation in January when the legislature returns. Reducing carbon emissions and air pollution by transitioning away from fossil fuels is one of the most important actions our country and world must take to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. Even though California comprises only one percent of global emissions, taking all the carbon out of the electricity sector of the world’s sixth largest economy will set a global precedent that other states and countries can follow. We can’t ignore the science of climate change any longer.”

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.