The California Assembly approved Senate Bill 350 (De León and Leno) with bipartisan support – a milestone that will double statewide energy efficiency and increase our renewable electricity generation to 50 percent in 2030. Due to intense opposition, provisions in the bill to reduce petroleum consumption were removed before the vote.
The other major bill we supported, SB 32, will be considered again next year. This bill extends California's greenhouse gas emission goals to 2050, and includes our prominent Cap and Trade program. This will become a major effort and focus for E2 California in 2016.
The battle for success on SB 350 and SB 32 culminated in Sacramento with E2 members lobbying legislators alongside me and the NRDC team. Special thanks to Mark Bauhaus, Graham Noyes and Tony Bernhardt for their time and energy in Sacramento. With only months to go before world leaders gather in Paris for the United Nations COP 21 climate summit, now is a decisive time for California to solidify its stance as a worldwide leader on climate action. Several E2 California members will be traveling to Paris as part of E2’s delegation to the climate talks.
E2 Water World
E2 is continuing to elevate its presence as a champion of collaborative reform addressing the California drought crises with on-going relationship building in the Central Valley and outreach to water policy experts bringing awareness to identified challenges and water efficiency opportunities. Later this month E2 will be entering the Imagine H20 Policy Challenge to cultivate our water policy proposals and showcase these concepts to government officials and media outlets.
E2 is staying committed to reform on how water is viewed in California which could help save thousands of acres of farmland, help create nearly 119,000 new construction jobs and bring $7 billion in employee compensation.[i]
E2 Clean Power Plan
At the unveiling of the federal Clean Power Plan, E2 California has been enthusiastic to demonstrate the success of policy to drive large economic activity and our state’s auspicious cleantech market. E2 Northern California chapter director Jon Foster went toe to toe with the head of a West Virginia coal association on BBC world news, and I was quoted in the LA Times, highlighting California’s progressive outlook on clean energy ahead of the Obama administrations’ Clean Power Plan earlier last month. The state is on track to exceed its emissions goals set forth in the Plan and are in a position to be a national leader in the growing energy markets.
However, the state has ambitious energy efficiency savings goals of its’ own, such as doubling its efficiency savings by 2020. This is one of the reasons why, amidst wild fires and an epic drought, E2 is continuing to advocate for stronger state climate legislation and improve water efficiency (12% of CA energy use) in defense of a cleaner, more robust economic future.
Mary Solecki is E2's Western States Advocate.