LOS ANGELES – A broad coalition from the public health, environmental justice, environmental, youth, clean tech, business and labor communities gathered at Los Angeles City Hall today to urge the State Assembly to pass Senate Bill 100 (De León), which will ensure that California generates 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2045.
“We are 100% ready for 100% renewable electricity,” said Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California. “It’s good for our planet, good for our kids, and good for our economy. We must take action now to ensure a clean energy future for California.”
SB 100 has passed the State Senate as well as two key committees in the State Assembly. Now, the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the full Assembly need to vote on it before the legislative session ends for the year on September 15, 2017.
The Los Angeles City Council, which last year directed the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to work with stakeholders to study how L.A. can achieve 100% clean energy, may lend its support to the bill via a resolution authored by Councilmember Paul Koretz and seconded by Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian, Mitch O’Farrell and David E. Ryu. The resolution will be voted on by the City Council Rules, Elections, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee on Tuesday.
Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said, “Climate change is not happening to our children and our grandchildren, it’s happening to us, right here, today, in real time, and, thanks in part to the fear the Trump administration’s environmental policy has struck into the hearts of human beings across the planet, we are really starting to do something serious about it.”
“The White House has turned its back on renewable energy and environmental justice. However, California will continue to lead our country with a clean environment and thousands of new green jobs by passing SB100,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu. “Angelenos need this legislation to pass so we can continue to create healthier neighborhoods for future generations.”
“SB 100 and other aggressive clean energy mandates are crucial to advancing the cause of ending our reliance on fossil fuels and inspiring all of us to work together to create a more healthy and equitable economy in Los Angeles and in California,” said Bahram Fazeli, director of research & policy with Communities for a Better Environment. “We ask the Los Angeles City Councilmembers to unanimously support SB 100.”
“Moving to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will have significant health benefits in California,” said Dr. Michael Ong, a volunteer physician with the American Lung Association in California. “By reducing dangerous emissions from power production we can all breathe easier, especially those suffering from lung diseases like asthma and lung cancer.”
“California communities breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation,” said Sara Gersen, clean energy staff attorney with Earthjustice. “Southern California won't have clean air or a stable climate until we make a complete switch to zero-carbon energy. We deserve a California free of fossil fuels, and SB 100 will help us get there.”
“Thousands of California health care and public service workers speak with one voice -- we need 100% renewable, pollution-free energy for our public health, for our communities, for our children,” said Keenan Sheedy, Environmental Justice Committee of SEIU 721.
California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002 (Sher). That law required California energy providers to generate 17% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Subsequent bills have ramped up the clean energy standard. SB 350 (De León) was the last clean energy bill to pass, two years ago. It requires that California energy providers generate 50% renewable electricity by 2030.
California utilities are ahead of the current clean energy goals that have been enshrined in law.
“We've been preparing for this moment for years,” said Katya English, organizing representative with the Sierra Club. “Every time we've set a stronger goal for clean energy, we've surpassed our own expectations, created more job opportunities and watched our economy grow. It's time to go all in on clean energy and expand on this strong foundation of success.”
“The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator understands that smart, forward thinking public policy has accelerated the development of markets for clean technology, especially here in California,” said Michael Swords, VP government relations for LACI. “SB 100 will send an unequivocal message to the market that renewable energy is a huge business opportunity here in California, which in turn will create jobs and attract investment capital to our state.”
A recent report by Environment California Research & Policy Center found that California has seen a 2,583% increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun and a 245% increase in wind power production over the past decade. The report, Renewables on the Rise, makes the case that the progress we’ve seen in California and around the country on renewable energy and technologies such as battery storage and electric cars should give Californians the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.
“In these troubled times, California has the opportunity to lead once again,” said Dan Brotman of SoCal 350 Climate Action. “Let’s do it now by declaring that the age of dirty electricity is over.”
SB 100 has earned the support of a diverse set of leading LA area organizations and businesses including: Adopt a Charger, American Lung Association in California, Blue Green Alliance, California Interfaith Power & Light, Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, Climate Hawks Vote, Climate Resolve, Coalition for Clean Air, Communities for a Better Environment, Earthjustice, Environment California, Environmental Defense Fund, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, GRID Alternatives, Holman United Methodist Church, IBEW Local 11, Los Angeles Business Council, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pacoima Beautiful, Public Health Institute, Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA, SEIU 721, Sierra Club California, SoCal 350 Climate Action, South Bay 350 and STAND-LA, among others.