January 30, 2020 - In 2019, Environment America and its state affiliates played a key role in convincing New Mexico, Maine and Washington to make commitments to 100% clean or renewable energy. On the heels of those landmark victories, the national nonprofit organization announced today it is calling on 15 additional states in 2020 to enact similar renewable energy goals.
“Burning fossil fuels damages human health and destabilizes the climate. We’ve been stuck on that path for a long time, but now there’s a better one: renewable energy from the sun and wind,” said Susan Rakov, chair of Environment America’s Clean Energy program. “One state at a time, we’re laying out a vision of a better, cleaner future. And across the nation, we’re seeing Americans and leadership respond by setting goals to reach that future. Last year’s successes are just the beginning.”
Following a landmark victory in California in 2018, Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaign set out to get 10 states to set ambitious renewable energy targets by 2023. To date, six states have enacted laws requiring 100% clean electricity by 2050 or sooner.
“States have a golden opportunity to continue moving the ball forward, and those that are aiming high are already seeing big results” said Emma Searson, Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaign director. “By 2019, the United States produced almost five times as much renewable electricity from the sun and wind as it did just ten years earlier. Committing to a healthier future powered fully by clean, renewable energy should be a no-brainer, and we’re here to make sure states take action sooner rather than later.”
States with advocacy groups currently pushing for 100% clean and renewable energy:
Along with a set of over 24 diverse groups, Environment Arizona is calling on the Arizona Corporation Commission to increase its Renewable Energy Standard & Tariff to 50% renewable energy by 2030 and to set a standard of 100% clean, zero-emission energy by 2045.
Environment Connecticut is urging the legislature to require that 100% of Connecticut’s electricity come from renewable and carbon-free sources by 2040. This comes after Gov. Ned Lamont signed a 2019 executive order calling for a plan to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
Environment Florida helped introduce State Renewable Energy Goals (HB 97) and the companion Renewable Energy bill (SB 256), which set a target of 100% renewable energy for the state by 2050. The group is also encouraging local governments, colleges and universities, and other major energy users to commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
Environment Georgia is driving the adoption and implementation of 100% clean energy commitments in many of Georgia’s largest cities with the goal of introducing statewide 100% legislation.
During his campaign, Gov. J.B. Pritzker committed to 100% renewable electricity. Illinois PIRG and its sister group Environment Illinois are members of the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition that has introduced legislation to codify that commitment as part of a broad collection of clean energy and carbon emission reduction policies.
Environment Maryland is building public support and momentum for renewable energy in the state, with the goal of introducing 100% renewable energy legislation.
This session, Environment Massachusetts and allies are supporting an Act re-powering Massachusetts with 100% renewable energy (H.2836, S.1958). The bill puts Massachusetts on track to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045 and is supported by a majority of state legislators.
This session, Environment Michigan has worked with Rep. Yousef Rabhi to introduce House Bill 5420, which would set a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050 and is supported by 30 cosponsors, and with Sen. Stephanie Chang to introduce a companion bill in the Senate (S.B. 763).
Environment Minnesota is advocating for a bill that will require 100% renewable energy by 2030 in Minnesota and a statewide moratorium on oil and gas pipelines, gas plants and any other new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Environment New Jersey is working to strengthen the state Energy Master Plan to include a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. This comes as Gov. Phil Murphy embraces a broader clean energy goal of transitioning away from fossil fuel technology.
Environment North Carolina is supporting a resolution that calls for 100% renewable energy by 2050. State Rep. Pricey Harrison introduced the House Bill (HB767), and Sen. Wiley Nickel introduced a companion bill in the Senate (SB513).
Environment Oregon supports a November 2020 ballot measure to commit the state to 100% renewable energy by 2045.
This session, bipartisan groups of state legislators reintroduced legislation in both the House and Senate to transition the commonwealth to 100% renewable energy by 2050. State Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) introduced the House bill (HB 1425), and Sen. Tom Killion (R-Delaware County) sponsored the Senate version (SB630). Pennsylvania’s legislation is believed to be the first of its kind led by a Republican and is now co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 100 legislators.
Wisconsin Environment is encouraging the state, along with local governments and major energy users, to transition to 100% renewable energy.
Last year, Gov. Ralph Northam signed an executive order setting a goal of producing 100% of the commonwealth’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Environment Virginia supports codifying that target through a legislative commitment to 100% renewable energy.
SOURCE: By Kelly Pickerel
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