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The Climate Center Lauds Governor Newsom’s Energy Vision: Proposes Details on How to Implement Vision

Santa Rosa, CA – The Climate Center lauds Governor Newsom for the high-level vision articulated in his energy, climate and wildfire speech earlier today before the Public Policy Institute of California.

“Kudos to Governor Newsom for articulating a compelling vision for a clean, decentralized, reliable, safe and affordable future electricity system in California,” said Ellie Cohen, CEO of The Climate Center.

The Governor explained how the PG&E bankruptcy provides an enormous opportunity for the state and that we need a utility that is “transformatively different.”  He described the next phase in utility system evolution as decentralization with an increase in local energy generation and storage.  He spoke about the need for a collaborative mindset, big structural changes and a focus on integrated solutions — for example, electric vehicle fleets as mobile supplies of stored energy.  The Governor also emphasized how the clean energy transition must continue to create jobs, and that a greener, more reliable electricity system must not be more expensive for California’s least well-off and most vulnerable citizens.

The Governor framed his remarks by explaining how former Governors Schwarzenegger and Brown had focused on the “what” and the “why” of energy policy.  He is committing his administration to be focused on the “how.”

The Governor’s speech today comes on the heels of the new State Policy Roadmap issued earlier this week by Vote Solar, Reimagine Power and The Climate Center to guide California State lawmakers on the “how.” The roadmap details proposals that align with the vision Governor Newsom outlined today, proposals that would accelerate the transition to a greenhouse gas-free electricity system, transform the outdated investor-owned utility business model to distributed energy resources, and modernize the power system including rapidly deploying clean energy community microgrids.

The Governor’s goals articulated today also align with the Climate Center’s Community Energy Resiliency Program to create local electric systems – carbon-free, safe, resilient and accessible to all – in every community throughout California, and to build local capacity to address climate change.

Now is an ideal time for the state to establish a forward-looking electricity system that benefits all of our communities and helps secure a climate-safe California. A community-based, greenhouse gas-free electricity network will advance state goals for polluting greenhouse gas emissions reduction, building electrification and sustainable transportation while also supporting the transition of workers and their families to the clean energy economy.

“The Climate Center’s energy policy proposals speak directly to the “how” of implementing Governor Newsom’s priorities,“ said CEO Ellie Cohen.  “We look forward to learning more details about his vision for a 21st Century utility system and working with the Governor’s office to realize our common, and urgently needed, vision.”

Click here to see Governor Newsom’s recent speech on energy, wildfires, climate change, and California’s future.

About The Climate Center

The Climate Center is a 501(c)(3) organization working to enact rapid decarbonization policies that put California on track to reverse the climate crisis, through net-zero emissions, carbon-sequestration, and resilient communities.  The Climate Center’s Community Energy Resilience initiative supports the creation of local electricity systems — greenhouse gas-free, safe, resilient and accessible to all — in every community in California. The Climate Center played a key role in the tremendous growth of Community Choice Agencies (CCAs) in California, with 19 CCAs now providing 88% clean energy to 11 million residents.

Kurt Johnson, The Climate Center, kurt@theclimatecenter.org, 970-729-5051