Gov. Jerry Brown: “California is not turning back on renewables”

Image: Neon Tommy/Flickr

Governor Brown focused his speech on immigrant rights, healthcare and California’s solid reputation for promoting renewable energy. “Our state is known the world over for the actions we have taken to encourage renewable energy and combat climate change,” said Brown. “We cannot fall back and give in to climate deniers. The science is clear. The danger is real.”

The West Coast state is expected to continue to lead the transition towards clean energy over the coming years. Speeding up approval plans for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are the first of many anti-renewable energy policies expected to appear as Donald Trump settles into the White House. The President has also spoken of undoing federal regulations to protect the environment, and removing the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change.

This is not the first time Gov. Brown has spoken out against Trump since he won the U.S. election in November. In December he pledged to protect University of California Science Labs, and when Trump spoke of turning off NASA satellites monitoring the Earth’s climate, Brown retorted that California would “launch its own damn satellite.”

California has an ambitious target of producing 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, and has long been a leader in renewable energy for both the United States and the world. In his speech, Brown pledged to continue playing this role: “We can do much on our own and we can join with others – other states and provinces and even countries, to stop the dangerous rise in climate pollution. And we will.”

Brown’s speech took a more conciliatory tone with regard to the country’s infrastructure. “The President has stated his firm intention to build and build big… And in this we can all work together.”

A document obtained by journalists in the U.S. purporting to be a list of priority infrastructure projects for the Trump administration includes major wind and hydroelectric projects, as well as several grid level projects, including a plan to modernize California’s grid with storage applications in order to further increase the reliability of renewable energy and eliminate the need to fire up fossil fuel power stations at times of peak demand.