'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.
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.