Horowitz: California Going Solar
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
This requirement, which is on a rapid 2020 implementation timeline, is one of a series of measures advanced by Governor Jerry Brown, that taken together are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California by 40% by 2030. By that year, half of California’s energy is mandated to come from renewable sources.
While this requirement that all new homes be solar powered is likely to increase the cost of a new house purchase, experts estimate that the resulting lower energy bills will make it a significant net cost-savings over time for homeowners. Persuaded by these claims, the California construction industry is actually backing the new mandate.
The use of solar power in the United States has increased 600% over the past 6 years or so. This decision by California which is highly likely to be followed by at least some other states will accelerate this exponential growth. As batteries that can store solar and wind power become more advanced and less expensive, the transition from fossil fuels to non-carbon producing renewables is likely to proceed much more rapidly than previously envisioned.
These kinds of advances and their embrace by state and local elected officials as well as many businesses is why-- despite the Trump Administration’s abandonment of leadership on climate change--the United States will still in all likelihood meet its Paris commitments.
In the long run, far-sighted local and state leaders, such as Jerry Brown, will have a much larger impact on the direction of climate and energy policy-- both here at home and around the world-- than will President Trump, whose rhetoric about the revival of the coal industry is just that and nothing more. As former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who now serves as UN Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, said, “Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up – and there isn’t anything Washington can do to stop us.”
California keeps showing the rest of us the way.
Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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