Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Monday calling for California to derive all its electricity production from renewable sources. Photo courtesy of the California Governor's Office
Sept. 10 (UPI) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that aims to eliminate fossil fuel use for electricity by 2045 and serves as a rebuke to U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.
In the final months of his four terms as governor, Brown signed the bill days before the start of a global climate summit in San Francisco. It calls for acceleration of a timeline for use of renewable energy, like solar energy and wind power, and requires that all electricity generated in the state be derived from renewable sources by 2045. Hawaii has adopted a similar goal.
"It's not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done," Brown said at the signing ceremony. California is committed to doing whatever is necessary to meet the existential threat of climate change."
Opponents of the bill argued that it would not make a substantial difference in the rise of the earth's temperature and could put employees in fossil fuel industries out of work.
California has been committed to ambitious energy goals and has found itself in a standoff with the administration of President Donald Trump. Although Trump pulled the United States from the 195-nation climate agreement, Brown has maintained the state's aggressive environmental policies. Brown has been involved in California mandates to reduce carbon emissions and supplement renewable energy use, and in an extension of the state's cap-and-trade program, a first for a U.S. state.
He has also been critical of White House attempts to relax air quality rules and potentially stop California's authority to adopt more stringent vehicle emission standards.
Prior to Monday's ceremony, Brown signed legislation blocking new oil and gas extraction plans off the state's coast. The action is regarded as a direct rebuke of the Trump administration's reversal of policies enacted by former President Barack Obama.
"Today, California's message to the Trump administration is simple: Not here, not now," Brown said in a statement regarding the enactment of the extraction law. "We will not let the federal government pillage public lands and destroy our treasured coast."