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Hillary Clinton: If I'm Elected President Every American Home Will Be Powered by Renewables by 2027

Climate

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton rolled out an ambitious climate and energy proposal Sunday evening. She said, if elected president on day one she'd set two national goals—every American home will be powered by renewable energy by 2027 and more than half a billion solar panels will be installed across the country before the end of her first term.

"It's hard to believe there are people running for president who still refuse to accept the settled science of climate change—who would rather remind us that they're not scientists than listen to those that are," Clinton said in a three-minute video posted to her website previewing the plan. She lists quotes from top GOP presidential candidates who refuse to listen to the 97 percent of climate scientists who say climate change is real and attributed to human activity.

Clinton will unveil her plan today at an energy efficient transit hub in Iowa, where she will call for a rapid expansion of power generation capacity from wind, hydro, geothermal and other renewable sources.

In the coming months, Clinton will lay out a comprehensive energy and climate agenda to help America transition to a clean energy economy and meet the global climate crisis.

Clinton says, "Through these goals, we will increase the amount of installed solar capacity by 700 percent by 2020, expand renewable energy to at least a third of all electricity generation, prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of asthma attacks each year, and put our country on a path to achieve deep emission reductions by 2050."

Her proposal says she will fight efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan and launch a Clean Energy Challenge with states, cities and rural communities that are ready to lead on clean energy, including investing in the electrical grid and innovation, extending tax incentives, and expanding renewable energy project on public lands and infrastructure.

Clinton's plan was hailed by environmental groups.

Tom Steyer, founder of NextGen Climate, praised Clinton's new plan. He said, "Today, Hillary Clinton emerged as a strong leader in solving the climate crisis and ensuring our country’s economic security. Clinton laid out an ambitious framework to put our nation on a path to a clean energy economy that will create millions of jobs."

In May, Steyer hosted a Clinton fundraiser at his San Francisco home. Last week, he called on candidates and elected officials to "demonstrate bold leadership and lay out a clear and concrete plan to achieve at least 50 percent clean or carbon-free energy by 2030." He said, "reaching this goal would more than triple renewable energy in our country—putting us on the pathway to a 100 percent clean energy economy by 2050 and millions of new jobs."

“We are thrilled to hear Senator Clinton’s full support for the Clean Power Plan, and her plans to go well beyond it," Sierra Club's Executive Director Michael Brune said. "Make no mistake—a healthy and just economy powered by 100 percent clean energy is not only possible—it’s inevitable."

Clinton is not the only Democratic presidential candidate that supports strong climate and renewable energy policies. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, unveiled a climate change plan last month.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been a staunch advocate of acting on climate for decades. His climate plan calls for transforming America's energy system away from polluting fossil fuels, and toward renewable energy and energy efficiency.

O’Malley and Sanders have been outspoken against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, while Clinton has been silent on her position on the issue. O'Malley and Sanders, along with Green Party candidate Jill Stein, have pledged to swear off contributions from fossil fuel companies, something Clinton has not been willing to do.

“Americans want climate action and strongly prefer clean energy over fossil fuels," Clinton says at the end of her video announcement.

“The decisions we make in the next decade can make all of this possible or they can keep us trapped in the past. We cannot wait any longer.”

Watch the video here:

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The last time San Francisco did not record a drop of rain in February was in 1864 as the Civil War raged.

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On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor said nearly 60 percent of the state was abnormally dry, up from 46 percent just last week, according to The Mercury News in San Jose.

The dry winter has included areas that have seen devastating fires recently, including Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. If the dry conditions continue, those areas will once again have dangerously high fire conditions, according to The Mercury News.

"Given what we've seen so far this year and the forecast for the next few weeks, I do think it's pretty likely we'll end up in some degree of drought by this summer," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported.

Another alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The National Weather Service posted to Twitter a side-by-side comparison of snowpack from February 2019 and from this year, illustrating the puny snowpack this year. The snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevadas provides water to roughly 30 percent of the state, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Right now, the snowpack is at 53 percent of its normal volume after two warm and dry months to start the year. It is a remarkable decline, considering that the snowpack started 2020 at 90 percent of its historical average, as The Guardian reported.

"Those numbers are going to continue to go down," said Swain. "I would guess that the 1 March number is going to be less than 50 percent."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecast that the drier-than-average conditions may last through April.

NOAA said Northern California will continue deeper into drought through the end of April, citing that the "persistent high pressure over the North Pacific Ocean is expected to continue, diverting storm systems to the north and south and away from California and parts of the Southwest," as The Weather Channel reported.

As the climate crisis escalates and the world continues to heat up, California should expect to see water drawn out of its ecosystem, making the state warmer and drier. Increased heat will lead to further loss of snow, both as less falls and as more of it melts quickly, according to The Guardian.

"We aren't going to necessarily see less rain, it's just that that rain goes less far. That's a future where the flood risk extends, with bigger wetter storms in a warming world," said Swain, as The Guardian reported.

The Guardian noted that while California's reservoirs are currently near capacity, the more immediate impact of the warm, dry winter will be how it raises the fire danger as trees and grasslands dry out.

"The plants and the forests don't benefit from the water storage reservoirs," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported. "If conditions remain very dry heading into summer, the landscape and vegetation is definitely going to feel it this year. From a wildfire perspective, the dry years do tend to be the bad fire years, especially in Northern California."

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