The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
'World's Most Ambitious Target' to Go 100% Renewables Just Passed the California Senate
California took a major step in ditching fossil fuels after the state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that aims for 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The legislation, Senate Bill 100, was approved with a 25-13 vote.
"Today, we passed the most ambitious target in the world to expand clean energy and put Californians to work," said Senate Leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.
The bill next moves to the Assembly for approval.
"Regardless of what Washington does, California will show the way forward," De León said. "We are sending a clear message to the rest of the world that no president, no matter how desperately the try to ignore reality, can halt our progress."
The Golden State is already admired for its clean-energy leadership but Senate Bill 100 is its most aggressive renewable energy target yet. If the bill becomes law, the state has to entirely abandon fossil fuel electricity in less than three decades and accelerate its current renewable portfolio standard of 50 percent by 2030. Under the law, California would also have to reach 50 percent renewables by 2026 and 60 percent by 2030.
PVTech reports that the legislation requires California to slowly transition away from natural gas, which is the state's top electricity source. Aliso Canyon's monstrous methane leak in Porter Ranch in October 2015 is a reminder why cleaner alternatives, such as solar and battery storage, are better alternatives.
"We want to make sure when we phase down, we phase down to renewable, which is healthy for our planet," de León said. "We'll be engaging still with the natural gas folks, but that's really all I can say about that part."
Environment California applauded Sen. de León's vision on the bill.
"Now more than ever, California must go big on clean, renewable energy and set a strong example for other states to follow," Michelle Kinman, Environment California's clean energy advocate, said. "Getting to 100 percent renewable energy is 100 percent possible—and it's 100 percent necessary."
Noted environmental advocate and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio also celebrated the vote.
"Great reminder that the future is in our hands," he tweeted. "Thank you CA for leading where Washington won't."
How much money can a solar roof save you? Find local deals on solar in your area, eliminate your power bill and join the solar revolution. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region that will provide you personalized solar estimates for free. Learn more here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."