Washington, D.C. – Today, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV)’s released a new report “Clean Energy for All: Clean Energy Progress Accomplished by State and Local Leaders” – highlighting how local governments across the country have taken the lead on clean energy since Donald Trump’s election. The report comes days ahead of the one-year anniversary of Trump announcing his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.
“One year after Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, state and local leaders have stepped up to take the lead,” said Gene Karpinski, President of LCV. “From Washington State and California to Wisconsin to New Jersey, and many places in between, we have seen major successes to fill the void of climate leadership left by this administration. Through the Clean Energy For All campaign, we will continue winning the fight to get our country closer to running on 100% clean energy by 2050.”
The report was announced earlier today on a call where leaders from LCV were joined by Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California, City Councilor Kate Beaton of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and Ed Potosnak of New Jersey LCV, where they highlighted specific clean energy accomplishments over the last year from each of their home states.
“Across the country, clean, renewable energy has become an unstoppable force. People want clean air, a healthy environment, and the jobs and investments that come with building the next generation economy, and nothing the federal government chooses to do can change that,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “States, cities, and businesses are all stepping up., and showing the nation and the world that ambitious climate action is achievable.”
“Climate change is the most important global environmental issue of our time,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “At stake is nothing less than the kind of world we want our children to grow up in. Do we want them to experience record-high temperatures, droughts, rising sea levels, and poor air quality? President Trump says ‘yes.’ In California, we don’t wake up in the morning looking to pick a fight with his Administration, but we will do what is necessary to defend our values, our families, and our planet. We didn’t become the fifth-largest economy in the world by spectating.”
When President Trump announced his intentions to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement, I knew that it was up to us on the local level to do more to reduce our contribution to fossil fuel usage and climate change,” said Kate Beaton, Eau Claire City Council Member and Western Organizer for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. “It was my hope in passing the renewable energy goals in Eau Claire that other communities in Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the nation would follow suit. I actually think it’s pretty amazing that such a negative decision on the federal level has inspired local communities to more aggressively seek clean energy solutions that work for them.”
“New Jersey’s not delaying while the Trump Administration abdicates its commitments under the Paris Accord, said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of NJLCV. “Governor Phil Murphy is committed to make New Jersey the greenest state in the country by enacting the boldest renewable standard in America and making good on his commitment for our state to get 100% of its energy from clean sources by 2050.”
Just this week in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy signed a landmark piece of legislation requiring the state to have the highest standard for renewable energy in the U.S., and he also signed an executive order to move New Jersey to 100% clean energy by 2050. Additionally, last year, Virginians elected pro-clean energy governor, Ralph Northam, who is has already taken many positive steps forward, including working to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and cap carbon emissions, with a goal of a 30% reduction by 2030.
The report also outlines the next steps to keep growing the momentum for clean energy, including securing 100% clean energy commitments from candidates, working with legislators to hold polluters accountable, directing Volkswagen settlement money to states to clean, electric school buses, and more.
The full report can be found here.
More information on the “Clean Energy for All” campaign can be found at www.CleanEnergyForAll.org.