California is making more moves to become the most environmentally conscious state in the US with the passing of S.B. 100, a bill that proposes the state makes a transition to 100 percent emission-free electricity by 2045. It passed in the State Assembly 43-32, CBS reports, kickstarting the state’s journey toward a future that is totally free of fossil fuels.
A recent report showed that if California’s government doesn’t drastically change its environmental policies, particularly regarding greenhouse gas emissions, the state could lose up to two-thirds of its beaches to erosion, and a similar portion of its water supply, while the average summer temperatures could be raised by 5 to 8 degrees and wildfires could increase 75 percent.
Hawaii was the first state to make a pledge to an emission-free future, but the fact that California is the most populated state in the country and has the fifth-largest economy sets a strong precedent for the rest of the union.
Dan Johnson, state director for Environment California, noted California’s influence on the rest of the country and the state’s potential with this bill, saying it ” would really become a shining state in terms of creating a real example for the rest of the country to look toward for creating an alternative to fossil fuels and having a healthy, growing economy.”
Though the bill narrowly failed to get through the Assembly last year due to opposition by utility worker unions who were concerned about losing jobs, the bill is widely supported by the Golden State population, with 72 percent of Californians backing the bill.
Next, the bill wil head to the State Senate, where it will be voted on again. If it passes there, it will need to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown, who has not explicitly supported this bill, but has historically been in favor of initiatives that seek to make California more sustainable.