By 2045, California Aims to Get All Electricity from Clean Sources

SACRAMENTO -- On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed what he calls a historic bill, one that commits California to using 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

"I’m committing California to zero-carbon emissions, which is a lot more difficult but absolutely necessary," Brown said.

While Gov. Brown has pushed an aggressive environmental agenda, his critics say he has not done nearly enough to stop drilling for oil and gas. In fact, under his watch, more than 20,000 drilling permits have been issued.

"We can’t just stop automobiles and trucks overnight, or even in a year or two," Brown told FOX40. "It’s going to take a phase-out program with an integrated plan."

That's what Senate Bill 100 aims to do.

It would eventually put restrictions on energy providers and public utilities, banning all carbon-based energy sources, like gas and oil, by 2045.

The changes would be incremental, with 44 percent renewable energy by 2024 and 60 percent by 2030.

Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, spoke out against those who say the bill is unrealistic.

"It was never realistic to put a man on the moon," de Leon said. "It was never realistic to send a space shuttle into space. It was never realistic to get to 50 percent clean energy and the projections are now that we’ll get to 50 percent by the year 2020."

Many Republican lawmakers opposed SB 100, as did a number of major electric companies and public utilities. They argued they’ll bear the brunt of the higher costs, which they’ll have to pass along to customers.

In a statement, Pacific Gas and Electric said:

"We raised concerns about affordability for our customers. If it’s not affordable, it’s not sustainable. We believe customers must be protected from unreasonable rate and bill impacts."

Nonetheless, in what may be the final piece of his legislative legacy, Gov. Brown touted SB 100 as a milestone.

SB 100 has also set the governor up for the Global Climate Action Summit this week in San Francisco.