California Lawmakers Begin Push for 100% Clean Energy by 2045

By James Rainey, NBC News.

California could solidify its position as a global leader on the issue of climate change in the coming weeks, when the state Legislature considers a bill that would push for the state to obtain all its electricity from renewable sources by 2045. 

Hawaii is the only other state in America to have committed to that ambitious goal, but the 50th state is 1/15 the size of California and is home to just 3.5 percent as many people. 

If lawmakers approve Senate Bill 100 before the end of their session in September, it would make California the biggest economy on earth committed to getting 100 percent of its power from wind, solar and other clean alternatives. 

The sponsor of the legislation, State Senate President Kevin de Leon, began the push for the bill with a telephone press conference Wednesday. The Los Angeles Democrat called S.B. 100 “a wonderful opportunity to reduce our greenhouse gases, clean our air up and put people to work.”

Plans to limit coal and petroleum-powered electricity led to pitched battles in the state capitol just a few years ago. But the new proposal is expected to have a better than 50-50 chance of passage because of the legislature’s big Democratic majorities and the fact that previous carbon reduction goals have been met ahead of schedule.