It's Official: California Commits to 100% Clean Electricity

In California, a commitment to 100 percent clean electricity isn't just a good idea. As of Sept. 10, 2018, it's the law. Environment California State Director Dan Jacobson tells his story of how we got there.

From Environment California State Director Dan Jacobson's letter sent to supporters:

Gov. Jerry Brown just made it official: California is on its way to being powered by 100 percent clean electricity. SB 100 is now the law of the land!

I came to work in California in the '90s—in the middle of our state’s energy crisis, when rolling blackouts were the norm, energy sources were dirty, and most people thought climate change was something that might happen in the future. We knew there had to be a better way.

So we did what we always do: compiled the research, educated the public and decision-makers, and organized the support and action necessary to help move the state, step by step, closer to a future free of both manipulation of our utility markets and of an electric grid that depends on fossil fuels.

Our work helped lead to the California Clean Energy Bill, which required our state to get 20 percent of its energy from renewables by 2017. Next, state Sen. Joe Simitian took us to 33 percent by 2030, and state Sen. Kevin de León moved the needle to 50 percent by 2030. We also led the charge to pass the Million Solar Roofs Initiative and the Global Warming Solutions Act, the nation's first economy-wide cap on global warming emissions.

All of that work built the foundation for today's historic moment. SB 100, which requires 60 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and 100 percent zero-carbon electricity by 2045, is a promise to our children and grandchildren that we will do all we can to give them a healthy future. If the world’s fifth-largest economy can transition to clean electricity, so can other states and cities, reclaiming our nation’s role as a global climate leader—no matter what’s happening in Washington, D.C.

As I said in my update to you two weeks ago when the Legislature passed SB 100, the work to solve climate change and create a more livable future is still far from finished. But progress is always possible for people who never quit, and I'm proud to have so many of those people around me today.

Thank you for making it all possible,

Dan Jacobson
State Director
Environment California