California pledges carbon-free electricity by 2045

By many metrics, California is way ahead of other states when it comes to renewable energy. The nation’s largest state leads in generating electricity from solar panels and geothermal stations. As of 2016, California got about two-fifths of its electricity from renewable forms of energy.

On Sept. 10, 2018, the state’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, signed into law a landmark bill committing California to getting 100 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. The state is giving itself a deadline of 2030 to get 60 percent of its power from renewable energy, up from 50 percent by that same year under the state’s previous requirements. Brown signed the renewable mandate with the support of Democratic majorities in the state legislature but over the opposition of some state Republicans and electric utilities.

Other states have likewise legally bound themselves to cutting climate-warming emissions from their electricity sectors. But none, except for Hawaii, have codified its pledge to make its entire electricity sector free of carbon emission.

Indeed, Brown followed the signing of the bill with an executive order promising to make the entire California economy — including its sizable fleet of automobiles — carbon-neutral by that year, too.

And over the weekend, Brown also signed two bills attempting to block new oil drilling off the coast of California. The legislation aims to thwart the Trump administration’s proposed expansion of offshore drilling nationwide by specifically prohibiting the construction of drilling-related infrastructure, including pipelines and piers.

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