World-Renowned Scientists: California Must Operate on 100 Percent Clean Electricity

OAKLAND, Calif. —Amid a summer of record-setting heat and wildfires exacerbated by climate change, 37 scientists signed a letter published today in the Sacramento Bee, calling on state legislators to pass Senate Bill 100, the “100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018.” The signers include world-renowned experts in climate, water, energy and health, including Gretchen Daily, the director of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford; Alex Hall, the director of the Center for Climate Science at the University of California Los Angeles; James McCarthy, past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Mario Molina, recipient of a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering that chlorofluorocarbon gases were threatening the ozone hole; and Benjamin Santer, a National Academy of Sciences member.

The California Legislature is likely to vote this month on the bill, which would set a goal that all of California’s electricity come from carbon-free resources by 2045. Representatives from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) presented the letter to state legislators today. 

…Last month, the state announced it had reached another key goal—cutting carbon emissions back to 1990 levels—four years ahead of schedule. The goal had been set for 2020 but was achieved in 2016. California investor-owned utilities are on track to reach a 50 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2030, also ahead of schedule. 

According to the letter, “clean energy is among the most urgent solutions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” SB 100 would accelerate California’s RPS to 60 percent by 2030 and allow for flexibility in how the remaining 40 percent of electricity is supplied. In 2017, California received about 29 percent of its electricity from renewable resources, such as solar and wind, and another 24 percent came from a combination of nuclear and large hydropower, both of which are carbon-free. 

Read full press release from the Union of Concerned Scientists


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