D.C. Council commits to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032

The D.C. Council passed a clean energy bill Tuesday promising to transition the District to 100 percent renewable energy by 2032.

The bill, originally introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh, will increase the District’s renewable portfolio standard – a regulation requiring increased energy production from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biomass – from 50 percent to 100 percent. The District’s new standard is the most ambitious among all 50 states, WAMU reported Tuesday.

The bill also contains several additional provisions to combat climate change and slash carbon emissions, including stricter energy efficiency requirements for new and existing buildings, incentives for purchasing electric vehicles and higher taxes on energy generated from nonrenewable sources. The provisions are expected to cut emissions by 42 percent by 2032, according to WAMU.

The bill’s transportation initiatives require public bus fleets and privately operated fleets, like Uber and Lyft, to operate low- and zero-emissions vehicles by 2045, WAMU reported.

The bill’s implementation will cost $21 million in fiscal year 2019 and approximately $71 million more in the three fiscal years after. The bill will generate $59 million in special purpose revenue over the same four-year period, according to the D.C. chief financial officer’s fiscal impact statement.

The bill now sits on the desk of Mayor Muriel Bowser, who can either sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without her signature. Should the law pass her office, Congress will have 30 days to veto the bill or allow it to become law.

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