Thursday, September 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES (CNS)—Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday authored by a Los Angeles legislator that sets a 100 percent clean electricity goal for the state, and also issued an executive order establishing a new target to achieve carbon neutrality -- both by 2045.

Senate Bill 100, authored by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, pledges that California will obtain 100 percent of its power from clean sources by 2045, including wind, solar and hydropower.

"In California, Democrats and Republicans know climate change is real, it's affecting our lives right now, and unless we take action immediately -- it may become irreversible," de Leon said. "Today, with Governor Brown's support, California sent a message to the rest of the world that we are taking the future into our own hands; refusing to be the victims of its uncertainty. Transitioning to an entirely carbon-free energy grid will create good-paying jobs, ensure our children breathe cleaner air and mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change on our communities and economy."

The governor's executive order, meanwhile, directs the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and net negative greenhouse gas emissions after that. The move comes after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in June set a goal for the city to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Brown's office said the order gives California the most ambitious carbon neutrality commitment of any major economic jurisdiction in the world.

"This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done," Brown said.

The legislation was met with strong resistance from utility and oil companies, arguing it would lead to higher electricity prices for consumers while failing to make a major dent in greenhouse gas emissions. Opponents argued that electricity power plants are responsible for a small percentage of such emissions, particularly in comparison to the percentage emitted by cars and trucks.

Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, applauds the bill. “Climate change and poor air quality are threats to public health in California. Air pollution contributes to asthma attacks and lung cancer, hospitalizations and even early death. Right now, 90 percent of Californians live in areas that experience poor air quality at some point during the year.”