Given his past history in advocating for renewable energy and environmental policies, it is unsurprising Governor Brown acted so quickly in signing this bill into law.
"There is no understating the importance of this measure", Governor Jerry Brown said, and vowed to honour the 2015 Paris climate deal. But Brown on Monday said moving toward a regional grid is essential to achieving California's new 100 percent clean energy goal without sending electric prices skyrocketing. This is known as the California Renewable Portfolio Standard Program, and the goal for the use of renewable resources - such as wind and solar - had previously been set at 50 percent by the year 2030.
California has almost 54,000 active wells, some of them close to urbanized areas in Southern California and the Central Valley, according to state data.
At the same time, California has grappled with an oversupply of renewable energy, especially at noon when the sun is at its highest, leading the state to offload solar energy to other states.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, stood next to Brown at the bill signing and was handed his pen as a keepsake.
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But the flurry of promises and promissary notes run head-on into two hard and unyielding realities, one political and the other rooted in the physics of a warming planet.
Here's what we know about this new era for California.
Monday's law goes further, saying the last 40 percent of the 100 percent total can come from "carbon-free" sources, including large dams, nuclear power and even natural gas-fired power plants, if they can capture and store the carbon in the ground, which so far is an unproven technology. "While some are talking about climate solutions and green jobs, California leaders like Senator Kevin de León are making solutions real".
"Today we're setting a marker that will be remembered by future generations", de Leon said.
The bill also requires the state's Public Utilities Commission and its Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission to take steps to ensure that a transition to a zero-carbon electric system for California does not cause or contribute to greenhouse gas emission increases elsewhere in the western grid. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill requiring the state to source electricity from exclusively carbon-free sources by 2045, a move aimed at combating climate change that clashes with U.S. President Donald Trump's pro-fossil fuel policies.
It directs the state to achieve "carbon neutrality" by 2045 at the latest, and after that to begin to reduce the state's net carbon emissions.