Historically, California has always been a leader with regards to utilisation of renewable energy technologies. Stemming from concerns of fossil fuel dependence in the 1970s, soon-after began the expansion of California’s solar and wind industry. Currently, under Senate Bill 350 (SB 350) (Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015) California has set an ambitious target of increasing their renewable energy production to 50% of their total power supply by 20301. This target has been extended and adapted from the 2020 target, which was originally set under Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) (The Global Warming Solution Act of 2006). AB 32 was the first of its kind to be implemented in The United States. The bill stated that it was a requirement for California to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, in a long-term and sustainable manner. Through a variety of methods, including the successful Cap-and-Trade Program, the Renewable Portfolio Standard and other incentive-based schemes, California has managed to significantly increase their renewable energy supply.
California’s oil industry experienced its peak expansion in the 20th century. The growth in oil occurred as a result of the discovery of new oil fields and the increased demand to power automotive vehicles. However, this rapid expansion soon ended following the impact of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill. This oil spill, which occurred in Southern California, was the largest of its time to have occurred in the United States3. The large spill had a major impact on marine life and resulted in a large environmental movement involving the implementation of environmental legislation.
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