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Michelle Kinman,
Environment California

San Jose Supporters Urge California Lawmakers to Pass SB 100 for 100% Clean Energy

For Immediate Release

San Jose, California: Local supporters gathered at San Jose City hall to urge passage of Senate Bill 100 (De León). SB 100 will ensure that California generates 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2045.

“SB100 is a critical tool to usher California forward towards a renewable energy future,” said Ash Kahlra, Assembly Member for the 27th district, which includes central San Jose and the surrounding region.

SB 100 is designed to do three things. First, it will ensure that California generates 50% of its electricity from clean energy sources by 2026, 60% by 2030 and then 100% by 2045. SB 100 requires that at least 60% of electricity be generated for California by 2030 from “eligible renewable energy resources (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, small run-of-the-river hydro, and renewable methane). The remaining 40% (from 2030-2045) can come from any of those resources, plus existing large hydro facilities and any other zero-carbon polluting resource.

“From Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the Los Angeles fires, and record breaking heat waves in the Bay Area, in 2017 we are seeing the very real human consequences of climate change. This is climate change, and even more it’s climate damage. That is why we must take bold action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and build a clean energy future,” said Sylvia Arenas, San Jose City Councilmember, District 8. “I’m here today to thank California’s Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon for his leadership on this issue and for authoring SB 100 which will put the state on the path to 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2045. It’s time for our State representatives to pass SB 100, and start moving our state to 100% clean energy now.”

The bill has passed the State Senate as well as three key committees in the State Assembly. Action is needed on the Assembly floor before the legislative session ends for the year on September 15, 2017. Today advocates urged South Bay Area Assemblymembers to strongly support SB 100 and help deliver it to Governor Brown’s desk.

“California must find a way to replace the 40 percent of our energy that comes from burning fossil fuels. We already have the tools and strategies we need to bring more wind and solar online: things like better weather forecasting, energy storage, shifting time of use to when renewable resources are abundant, and greater energy efficiency when they’re not. This legislation sets an ambitious and feasible goal and more importantly forces us to figure out how to end our reliance on fossil fuels in a smart, orderly and equitable way,” said
Laura Wisland, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

California passed its first clean energy standard in 2002 (Sher). The first 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, requiring 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.

"I remember how when I was a kid, I felt guilty for being a human. I was overwhelmed with all the information that I was learning in elementary school about carbon footprint, fossil fuel, and greenhouse gas emissions. I got the gist: by existing, we humans are harming the planet. But SB100 is one way we can help our planet. SB100 will push for complete renewable energy within the next 28 years. This is something that I want to see happen in my lifetime!" said Eva Lin, an incoming freshman at UC Davis and a former Fellow at Alliance for Climate Education, an organization that teaches students about climate change.

“In San Jose, we are setting ambitious goals for climate action, green economic development, and clean energy and climate resilience. SB 100 is the kind of visionary bill that San Jose wants to be part of—with our feet on the ground, aware of the problems and challenges, but working with our diverse community knowing we can turn new ideas into opportunities and shared community improvement. 100% renewable energy is the right path for our communities, the smart path for our businesses, and the right path for our state. Here in our city, we are doing our part to accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy, and we look forward to our representatives at the State to do the same.” said Raul Peralez, San Jose City Councilmember, District 3.

Kristen Keith, Mayor of Menlo Park (unable to attend the press conference) recognized other local action taken in the south bay area, “Menlo Park is on a path to go 100% renewable with our power by 2030. Why not help the rest of the State do the same!”

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 like battery storage and electric cars should give Californians the confidence that we can take clean energy to the next level.

“Across the state, parents are demanding clean air and water and a livable climate for all kids. That means phasing out fossil fuels as quickly as possible and making a swift, complete and just transition to 100% renewable energy. California can and must lead the nation, and the world, in setting the most ambitious renewable targets. Our children deserve no less and we have no time to wait. Let’s do this now!” said Linda Hutchins-Knowles, leader of South Bay Mothers Out Front, a group of parents mobilizing for a livable climate.

“Many of our members know, first hand, the impacts of air pollution associated with climate change. Some of our members work in health care treating kids with asthma and elders weakened by heat exhaustion,” said Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU 521. “Increasing California’s use of renewable energy will make our communities safer and more efficient. In the long run, we’ll be saving money that can be used to sustain our infrastructure and provide higher quality services to our communities.”

“We are 100% ready for 100% clean energy,” said Emily Fieberling, summer intern for Environment California and rising senior, studying biology UCLA. “The states can lead the clean energy revolution.”