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This House Supports Senate Bill 100: The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018.
We have speakers lined up. If you would like to moderate this debate, contact Deborah via this website. This week Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 100, which commits California to phasing out electricity produced by fossil fuels by 2045. The new bill also mandates California utilities to generate 60% of the electricity needed from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2030, with the goal of a fully zero-carbon grid by 2045. At the signing ceremony, Governor Brown said, "This bill and the executive order put California on a path to meet the goals of Paris and beyond. It will not be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done. California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change.” Supporters of the legislation add that implementation of SB 100 will not only reduce green house gas emissions but also reduce air pollution and create good jobs in the renewables industry. Critics of SB100 say the renewable energy goal is unrealistic but would not make a substantial difference to global emissions even if it could be met. SB100 would also harm workers in fossil fuel industries and raise electricity prices for consumers. Renewables continue to be plagued by issues of intermittency, sometimes producing too little energy, which then requires utilities to rely on electricity generated by fossil fuels in order to meet energy demand. Utilities also have to deal with periods of excess solar energy when there’s not enough demand locally for the power. Renewable energy experts have looked to batteries that can store solar energy as one solution, but the technology is not yet ready for wide-scale deployment. Without scalable, reliable and affordable renewables technology, utilities will not be able to meet the 2030 mandate. And without a viable large-scale carbon capture/storage capability, the vision of a zero-carbon grid by 2045 is little more than a pipe dream. So what do you think? Does SB100 give the push California needs to get serious about cutting GHG emissions and severing our dependence on fossil fuels? Or is it unrealistic at best and harmful at worst, establishing inflexible mandates and goals with little chance of being met. Join us at the next SFDebate to explore and debate these questions. Further reading: SB100 text: Additional arguments for and against:

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