Last year, California, the nation’s most populous state and the world’s fifth-largest economy, declared that all of its energy would come from renewable sources by 2045. It became the second state in the nation, after Hawaii, to set that goal.
Since then, several governors who won their elections in 2016, including those from Nevada, Michigan and New York, campaigned on 100% clean energy. New Mexico’s new Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham campaigned on a promise of 80% renewable energy by 2040. Xcel Energy announced plans to be 100% carbon-free by 2050.
And in Washington, D.C., democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been pushing a “Green New Deal.”
This plan would commit the entire country to abandon all use of fossil fuels in energy production by 2035. It’s gained significant support from Democrats. The list includes at least eight Democrats considering a presidential bid in 2020.
But these wildly ambitious goals tend to overlook inconvenient questions. Such as: Is it even possible to get to 100% renewable energy? Is it worth the costs and disruptions that would entail? Would it even be good for the environment?