Bipartisan climate policy IS possible!
Assemblyman Chad Mayes, a New Way leader, recently introduced a new Enhanced Clean Energy Standard (CES). The proposed legislation aims to curb the state’s carbon emissions by taking a technology neutral approach.
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR TECH-NEUTRAL APPROACH
The tech-neutral approach has been popular across the political spectrum. It sets a required standard for greenhouse gas emissions, but allows utility companies the freedom to choose the technology they use to meet the standards. Businesses can choose zero-emissions energy sources based on their business needs and affordability, which may include nuclear, hydro, carbon capture and yet-to-be-discovered energy technology.
Tech-neutral advocates say that the approach makes it possible to accelerate affordable decarbonization by allowing all zero-emissions technologies to compete and allowing freedom of choice. Several other states, including Wyoming and New York, have proposed similar legislation to fight the effects of climate change.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CALIFORNIA?
California currently requires utility companies to procure a minimum quantity of electricity products from eligible renewable energy resources (33% by 2020, 44% by 2024, 57% and 60% by 2030).
Mayes’ proposal would speed up progress by increasing the minimum requirements and extending them to a final goal of 80% renewable energy resources by 2038.
WE MUST RAISE OUR STANDARDS
Now more than ever, we need to adopt new ways of fighting climate change.
California’s electric system produced more greenhouse gases in 2018 than in 2017 despite increased use of solar energy. A recent study found that national emissions increased 3.4%, the second-largest increase in two decades. It’s clear that the old way isn’t working, and we need legislation that takes a stronger stance against carbon emissions in an effective and economically responsible way. Mayes’ tech-neutral proposal does just that.
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