A 100% CES + electrification could clean our air and water, protect public health, lower consumers' bills, bolster energy independence, and lift up the frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis.Stephen Smith | June 9, 2021 | Climate Change, Energy Policy, Utilities
A critical element of the American Jobs Plan that’s before Congress is a 100% Clean Electricity Standard (CES), which is a policy to decarbonize our power sector and set us on a path to drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. A CES would require that the percentage of U.S. electricity coming from zero-carbon sources increases until it reaches 100% by 2035, thereby serving as the cornerstone for our broader clean energy transformation that could create millions of well-paying jobs, improve public health, and reduce bills. The policy has received a surge in support, including:
- A letter to the Biden Administration and Congress from a dozen major utilities embracing the concept of 80% reductions in carbon emissions by 2030;
- Another letter from more than 300 American businesses calling for the U.S. to slash carbon emissions with clean energy; and
- A third letter from more than 150 climate, faith, justice, health, and clean energy organizations, including SACE, urging 100% clean electricity by 2035.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is strongly supportive of a 100% Clean Electricity Standard (CES). We’ve joined other regional clean energy organizations around the country in calling for this policy and we’ve urged our membership to join with us in urging Congress to pass such a policy.
100% Clean Electricity Standard Multiplies Impact When Combined with Electrification
The benefits of a 100% CES are multiplied when vehicles and home appliances switch from burning gasoline, diesel, or fossil gas to being powered by electricity. Electric vehicles (EVs) are already much cleaner than combustion engine vehicles, and as the electric grid gets cleaner with more renewable energy, so too do EVs. The same applies to buildings and heating appliances that currently rely on fossil fuels but through electrification can make the switch to renewable energy.
Combining a 100% clean electricity grid with the conversion of vehicles, buildings, and other industry sectors to electric power would achieve the national emission reductions of 70-80% that science tells us is needed to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change. Reaching these necessary emission cuts will require a CES in conjunction with electrification of our country’s transportation sector, buildings, and other sectors that are currently powered by fossil fuels.
The benefits of adopting a CES, combined with the trend of electrifying vehicles and other fossil fuel burning sources, could, according to expert analysis over the next 30 years:
- prevent more than 100,000 premature deaths,
- avoid more than $1 trillion in environmental and health costs,
- create millions of new jobs, and
- save every household hundreds of dollars per year in lower costs.
100% CES + electrification could clean our air and water, protect public health, lower consumers’ bills, bolster energy independence, and lift up the frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis.
If you’d like to join SACE in supporting a CES as a critical tool in reducing carbon emissions and strengthening our economy, take action and send a customizable letter urging your elected leaders to support a 100% Clean Electricity Standard.