Clarification to SACE Statement Regarding the Capability of a Clean Electricity Standard to Reduce Emissions

June 3, 2021

On June 2, 2021, in our bi-monthly Wired-In newsletter emailed to supporters, SACE included a statement that passing a 100% Clean Electricity Standard (CES) to decarbonize the power sector would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 70-80%:

To be fully accurate and transparent, the CES statement as sent in the Wired-In email warrants further elaboration. A Clean Electricity Standard alone would not achieve a 70-80% reduction in emissions. To achieve emission reductions of 70-80% will require a CES in conjunction with electrification of our country’s transportation sector, buildings, and other sectors that are currently powered by fossil fuels, like coal and gas. 

A federal CES is an essential policy to help us get to a 100% carbon-free electric grid by 2035 and serve as the cornerstone of our broader clean energy transformation. By pairing the electrification of buildings, transportation, and other sectors currently powered by fossil fuel along with the transformation of the power sector to run on clean energy, we could reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 70-80% while simultaneously creating millions of jobs, cleaning our air and water, protecting public health, lowering bills, bolstering energy independence, and lifting up the frontline communities most impacted by the climate crisis.

The benefits of adopting a Clean Electricity Standard, combined with the trend of electrifying vehicles and other fossil fuel burning sources, could, according to expert analysis over the next 30 years: prevent 150,000 premature deaths, avoid $1.3 trillion in environmental and health costs, create 2 million new jobs, and save every household hundreds of dollars per year in lower costs.