Environment Washington announced a major initiative today to convince state leaders to commit to 100 percent clean, renewable electricity. Environment Washington’s efforts are part of Environment America’s broader 100% Renewable campaign to boost clean energy bills in at least nine states: Washington, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
“Washington State has both the capacity and will to be a nationwide leader on 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Bruce Speight, Environment Washington Executive Director. “With other states and scores of cities and corporations committing to cleaner, healthier futures for our kids and our planet, Washington State has an obligation to take a strong, clear position.”
This campaign comes following the key role Environment California, a sister organization to Environment Washington, played in convincing the Golden State to commit to 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045. Now, other states are poised to emulate the renewable energy pioneers: California and Hawaii.
Environment Washington is pushing a bill that would eliminate coal on the grid by 2025, require all utilities to have a resource mix that is 80 percent clean by 2030, and ensure all electricity in Washington state is carbon-free. Gov. Jay Inslee requested the bill, and its prime sponsors are state Sen. Reuven Carlyle in the Senate and state Rep. Gael Tarleton in the House.
“Considering the level of climate chaos already unleashed at 1°C warming, from ravaging wildfires to devastating storms, we must move as rapidly as possible to reduce emissions,” said Speight. “What we do in the next few years, not in 20 years, is what matters. That’s why strong short-term targets are critical to making this bill meaningful. At the very least, we need to ensure that the provisions to eliminate coal on the grid by 2025 and to require utilities to be 80% percent clean by 2030 remain in the bill, and if anything, that they are strengthened not weakened.”
The renewable revolution isn’t only happening at the state level. Growing awareness of the environmental impacts of our energy use, coupled with rapid advances in technology and declining costs, has made renewable energy the “go-to” option for many communities and businesses. One hundred U.S. cities, led by a mix of Republican and Democratic mayors, have pledged to transition their power sources to 100 percent renewable energy. In addition, 131 major companies, including Bank of America, Walmart and Anheuser-Busch, have pledged to power their entire operations with renewable energy.
“Renewable energy technologies are gaining momentum because they’re pollution-free — which means they’re healthier for both us and the earth,” said Rob Sargent, Environment America’s Clean Energy Program Director. “It should be a no-brainer for other states to follow Hawaii and California’s lead. But we have to convince states to act as soon as possible.”