Generating Clean Electricity for All
Shifting California away from its dependence on electricity generated by fossil fuels is essential to:
• Reduce air pollution, including health threatening conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases;
• Reduce dependence on dirty fuels whose extraction requires drilling or mining in natural areas; and
• Create a sustainable economy whose jobs aren't at risk of shrinking because of fossil fuel price spikes.
Sierra Club California has long successfully advocated policies that advance renewable energy and make it more available for every Californian. In 2011, for instance, we supported and helped pass legislation signed by Governor Jerry Brown to increase the state's renewable portfolio standard. Now the state's public and private electricity providers must procure 33 percent of their energy portfolio from renewable energy by 2020.
Independently, the Governor has set a goal of California generating 12,000 megawatts of locally generated renewable energy--such as rooftop solar--by 2020. Sierra Club California is working to realize that goal through policies that reduce barriers to local solar. In 2012, we helped develop and pass legislation that prevents local governments from setting unreasonably high permitting fees for rooftop solar installation. The legislation was inspired by the work of a Sierra Club member whose research showed that some cities were tacking on extraordinary fees to cover other city costs, which ended up discouraging solar installation.
Sierra Club California is continuing to press for feed-in tariff and community electricity aggregation policies that make it easier for multi-unit housing and low-income residents to benefit from solar energy. We are also working to advance building energy efficiency through legislative and agency action.
We also are battling hydrofracturing (fracking) and its unfettered use in oil and gas development in California. Our volunteers and staff are working with allies, in the courts and through legislative and agency advocacy, to press agencies and policymakers to actively protect public health, water quality, and the environment generally from fracking's negative impacts.
Sierra Club California volunteers have a robust and active Energy Committee that tracks and develops energy policies for state-level advocacy. If you are interested in learning more about that committee and how you can participate, click here.