Environment America launched its 2021 campaigns for 100% renewable energy in 13 states on Feb. 8. The announcement comes as the Biden Administration, which campaigned on achieving carbon pollution-free power nationwide by 2035, continues to push for a federal 100% clean electricity target.
The multi-state effort features campaigns in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
“States are America’s trailblazers when it comes to clean energy,” said Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy. “State leaders who have the courage and ambition to repower their state with renewable energy are carving out the path that everyone else will soon walk with familiarity. The most effective of those trailblazers act with clarity and urgency to realize the potential of renewable energy that abounds in every corner of our great land.”
Since 2018, when Environment America and its state groups launched its 100% Renewable Campaign, the organization has played a key role in convincing California, New Mexico, Maine, Washington and Virginia to make commitments to 100% clean or renewable electricity. Now, with seven states having enacted laws requiring 100% clean electricity, the group will push other states to join in committing to play a pivotal role in moving toward a completely renewable energy society. The group advocates for commitments that also include meaningful interim targets to ensure near-term renewable energy growth.
“Some people may be thinking that federal action is the best way to go now, but we know state leadership is the reason we can even imagine a clean energy future for all Americans today,” said Emma Searson, Environment America’s 100% Renewable Campaign director. “State policies — from clean energy standards to solar programs — have played an outsized role in securing the remarkable progress we’ve seen to date. Let’s make sure that those laboratories of democracy continue using their winning formulas to transform our energy future in the years ahead.”
Environment America’s state policy efforts:
Environment California is calling on the governor and state legislature to accelerate California’s transition to clean energy by moving its existing 100% clean energy target up from 2045 to 2030.
Environment Connecticut is urging decision makers to take action this year to begin implementing Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive order establishing a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity for Connecticut by 2040.
Environment Florida helped introduce State Renewable Energy Goals (HB283) and a companion renewable energy bill (SB720), which set a target for the state to get its electricity from renewable energy by 2040 and reduce the state’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. The group is also encouraging local governments, colleges and universities and other major energy users to commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
Environment Georgia is driving the adoption and implementation of 100% clean and renewable energy commitments in many of Georgia’s largest cities and is also helping to move legislation supporting a statewide transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 (HR 70).
Environment Illinois is working with environmental advocates and leaders in the renewables industry to pass clean energy legislation that includes the strongest policies to commit Illinois to 100% clean and renewable energy.
This session, Environment Massachusetts is supporting legislation that will be filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker. The bill puts Massachusetts on track to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2035 and 100% clean energy for heating and transportation by 2045. Last session, a similar bill was endorsed by a majority of state legislators.
Environment Minnesota is advocating for Rep. Jamie Long’s 100% Clean Energy Bill, which requires 100% carbon free electricity by 2040, including 55% renewable energy by 2035. The organization will continue supporting even more aggressive timelines and public investments in clean transportation and energy efficiency needed to get Minnesota off fossil fuels as quickly as possible.
Environment New Jersey supports the reintroduction of the 2018 Senate Bill 1405, championed by Sens. Patrick Diegnan and Loretta Weinberg, which would commit New Jersey to reaching 100% clean, renewable electricity statewide by 2035. The bill comes as part of an effort to implement the state Global Warming Response Act (GWRA), which requires a 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.
Environment North Carolina is supporting legislation that calls for 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Environment Oregon is advocating for a statewide legislative commitment to 100% clean and renewable electricity.
This session, state legislators will reintroduce legislation in both the House and Senate to transition the commonwealth to 100% renewable energy by 2050. State Rep. Chris Rabb has championed the bill since its initial introduction in 2018 and will sponsor the House version once again. Last session, the bill was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 100 legislators.
Environment Texas supports a statewide commitment to 100% clean and renewable electricity. The group also supports efforts to expand transmission lines to further the growth of the wind and solar industry in Texas.
Wisconsin Environment is encouraging the state, along with local governments and major energy users, to transition to 100% renewable energy.
News item from Environment America