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Find Out How Close Your City Is to Going 100% Clean Energy

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Find Out How Close Your City Is to Going 100% Clean Energy

Santa Monica, California announced this week that it is signing a contract to power its municipal operations with 100 percent clean energy—making it the latest in a string of cities across the U.S. striving for a goal of 100 percent clean and renewable energy. Fifteen U.S. cities so far have even gone a step further to set goals that cover all electricity use in their community—from San Diego to Aspen to Burlington, Vermont, and beyond: local leaders are seeing the “power” of choosing clean energy.

It’s not a fluke! Poll after poll shows that a majority of Americans support clean energy. Eighty-three percent of respondents to a national online survey of American adults conducted by Global Strategy Group in August 2015 supported a goal of 100 percent clean and renewable energy for the U.S. We now need to see an ambitious response to this widespread public demand in the form of action from our leaders, so that our cities, businesses, and institutions are powered by clean energy.

That’s why the Sierra Club is happy to announce the launch of our “Ready For 100” campaign, which calls for 100 percent clean energy across the U.S. With 2.4 million members and supporters, the Sierra Club will harness its massive grassroots power to lift up clean energy supporters and urge 100 cities across the U.S. to follow the lead of San Diego, Paris, Sydney, Vancouver and others that have already committed to 100 percent clean energy.

We know dirty energy is hurting our health, our water and our climate. At the same time, we see the power of clean energy. It’s not only better for our climate and environment, but it also creates jobs, boosts our economy and saves money!

We also know that it is 100 percent possible. Stanford scientists say the transition to 100 percent clean energy will save the average family more than $200 dollars per year in energy costs and another $1,500 per year in health care costs. Solar prices have fallen 80 percent in recent years and wind prices have fallen 60 percent. Clean energy is now cheaper than coal and gas in many places.

The solar industry already employs more than 200,000 people, nearly twice as many people as the coal mining industry. Solar jobs grew 12 times faster than the overall economy this year.

The American people are demanding progress for their communities, for their health, for their children and for the environment. And all Americans deserve access to good jobs, healthy communities and affordable clean energy choices. We can accelerate 100 percent clean, renewable energy while ensuring that the communities hurt worst by climate change and fossil fuel pollution benefit most from the transition, and we can fight for an economy that puts workers and families first. It’s within reach, and it’s time for action.

This moment in history—our moment—is a critical turning point. We must accelerate the transition from dirty fuels like coal and gas to clean energy sources like solar and wind to ensure climate recovery and fully realize the benefits of economic transition. Just as we switched from horses to cars, telegrams to telephones, typewriters to computers and postal mail to email, we must now commit to switch from dirty fuels to clean energy.

It will require the voices of people all across the country to declare that we are #ReadyFor100—will you join us?

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A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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