California is a prominent player in the green energy movement. Since withdrawal by the American government from the Paris Agreement, the Golden State has made swift moves to ensure clean energy remains a defining initiative throughout the immediate future. SB 100 (Senate Bill 100) is one of the key legislative movements introduced as a means of pushing for 100% renewable energy use.
The proposal, drafted by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D – Los Angeles), would phase out fossil fuels by 2045 and combine with Assembly Bills 726 and 813 to lay a foundation for sharing renewable energy among Western states. These measures would pave the way for a greener and more efficient future as we continue to understand the grave environmental consequences brought on by fossil fuels.
SB 100 represents a dedication to making clean energy a priority unprecedented in large economies. So what exactly is the problem? Disagreements. Disagreements between unions, utilities, energy companies, and lawmakers have drawn lines in the sand and created bitter divides between all involved parties.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Unions representing electrical and utility workers accused De León of abandoning a promise to help protect their jobs.” While advocates such as Emilygrene Corp. continue support of the bill and its motives, with other more prominent figures taking action to rally lawmakers through events and phone drives, there remains a divisive stand by all sides holding up the bill from a key vote.
With a September 15 deadline, the hope for a passed bill was dashed as a last-minute revocation of support from electrical workers’ unions forced a vote off the table. According to Chris Holden (D – Pasadena), “There’s not a lot of time for the engagement we need to make it work,” adding that energy proposals should be considered as part of a “comprehensive conversation” next year.
The delay poses an obvious threat to the rate of progress toward solar and wind energies in California. The concept of a joint energy system between Western states surrounding the bill is controversial, requiring the state to share its grid and oversight between multiple boards and regulators. A problem for utilities certainly, not the least of which is heightened by the fact that the joint energy system was introduced the very same day as the deadline.
The legislation is complicated for many senators looking to demonstrate green energy as a reality and ease the concerns of those whose careers are currently entangled in fossil fuels. For right now, the bill remains in limbo until the conversation can be reopened next year. Until then, it will come down to spreading the word and finding support for a movement that will transform California infrastructure and solidify progress made over the past decade. Understanding green energy, its impact on jobs and the environment, and the role it will play as an economic boost are integral to persuading those afflicted by doubt. We are greener together.
Source: Los Angeles Times