By Devin Henry – 07/15/16 01:55 PM EDT
A Democratic senator says he will introduce a bill setting a lofty clean energy goal for the United States.
Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDem senator to push 100 percent clean energy bill Clinton to lunch with Senate Democrats Early Sanders supporter endorses Clinton MORE (D-Ore.) said Friday he will introduce a bill this fall to require 100 percent clean energy production in the United States by 2050.Merkley announced the goal at a Netroots Nation event during a panel discussion with, among others, Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate activist and donor who has asked candidates to commit to producing 50 percent clean energy by 2030, a goal enshrined in the Democratic Party’s 2016 platform.
“We’ve had victories on Keystone XL, arctic drilling, coal leasing,” Merkley tweeted during the event, which was about the “keep it in the ground” movement to end future fossil fuel development.
“Why is it important to have a bold vision? Because we have a big problem, and time is running out. … That’s why in the fall I’ll be introducing legislation laying out the vision to get to 100% clean energy by 2050.”
Merkley’s goal is an especially aggressive one. The United States currently gets about 33 percent of its electricity from renewables, hydropower and nuclear energy, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
Several states have set clean energy goals, including one in California designed to get 50 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2030. Hawaii last year committed to achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
Merkley’s bill — like one he introduced with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDem senator to push 100 percent clean energy bill Dems unveil list of headline convention speakers On financial deregulation, GOP repeating history, Democrats need to break from recent past MORE (I-Vt.) to block federal land fossil fuel development — is highly unlikely to come up for a vote in Congress this year