Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle [Editor: The following is a brief PORTION of a late-breaking SFChron news article. The article focuses on medical marijuana and racist mascots, then turns to breaking news on two climate change bills that are stalled in the California State Assembly. Latest on leginfo.ca.gov: SB32, SB350. – RS]
California government leaders…
By Melody Gutierrez, Updated: September 10, 2015 10:38pm
[near end of article] …Also stalling before the deadline was a climate change bill that aimed to chart the state’s path toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SB32 by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County), would have required the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990’s levels by 2030, and to 80 percent below 1990’s levels by 2050. Those targets were previously called for by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brown through executive orders.
The bill failed 25-33 in the Assembly on Tuesday and on Thursday Pavley said she would not seek another vote this year.
“Unfortunately, the state Assembly and the administration were not supportive, for now, and we could not pass this important proposal,” Pavley said in a statement.
SB32’s faltering came a day after another climate change bill was gutted.
SB350 no longer requires the state to cut petroleum use in half over the next 15 years, which Brown said was the result of well-financed opposition from the oil industry. The bill still calls for the state to boost energy efficiency in buildings by 50 percent and requires California to get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Jerry Brown: Oil lobby gutted climate bill – San Francisco Chronicle
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said a well-financed oil industry won a fight over the state’s efforts to pass legislation that would drastically reduce California’s gas consumption. But the feisty governor pledged to keep pushing for climate change policies that reduce the state’s dependence on oil..more..
Legislature needs to pass California’s climate bills now
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial, September 8, 2015 4:54pm
This was never going to be easy.
When California passed AB32 in 2006, state leaders were feted all over the world for their strong leadership and their willingness to do the hard work in the fight against climate change.
But now the party’s over. The state Legislature is embroiled in a tough fight around SB350 and SB32, two critical bills that represent California’s next steps toward achieving our climate change goals.
This year’s legislative deadline is Friday, so legislators must act now.
The most controversial bill is SB350, by state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles.
The petroleum industry has its guns aimed on the bill, which would require the state Air Resources Board to decide how the state should reduce petroleum use by 50 percent over the next 15 years and require utilities to increase their renewable energy portfolios to 50 percent by 2030. It would also require improved energy efficiency in buildings.
Those are tough goals, but they’re achievable. California can get there without resorting to the scare tactics that the oil industry is suggesting in its disingenuous ad campaigns (a ban on minivans and SUVs, Soviet-style gas rationing, and other over-the-top threats).
The state Assembly’s own analysis points out that California’s existing regulations have already set the stage for a decline in statewide petroleum consumption by 31 to 41 percent by 2030.
SB350 represents one more push, not a paradigm shift.
Still, there are a few waverers among the moderate Democrats in the state Assembly. (SB350 has already passed the state Senate.)
De León is still seeking to compromise with them (he’s offered amendments to beef up oversight of the state Air Resources Board and is open to giving the state Legislature a chance to modify whatever regulations the board winds up proposing), which is positive. Increasing oversight of the board would be an especially good idea.
But there should be no compromise on the centerpiece guidelines of the bill. After all, the climate isn’t willing to compromise with California.
SB32, authored by state Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County), has gotten less attention — but it doesn’t deserve to get lost in the end-of-the-year fray.
SB32 requires California to further slash greenhouse gas emissions, first to 40 percent below 1990 levels (by 2030), and eventually to 80 percent below 1990 levels (by 2050).
These are ambitious goals, and the state Legislature will have to refine them as technology and conditions change. But there’s no reason to believe that California can’t adapt to high standards.
Since we passed AB32, California’s economy has grown — not cratered. We’ve added jobs all over the economy, from manufacturing to clean technology.
Have there been financial costs? Yes. But Californians also value public health and the future of the planet, and that’s why the state Legislature needs to stop dithering and pass SB32 and SB350.
By any clean-and-green measure, California zooms past the rest of the nation, requiring cleaner fuels, more alternative energy and cars that use less gas. As these policies have taken root, the state economy has strengthened, creating more jobs in a forward-looking marketplace.
The connection should be clear. California is not only plotting a new energy course, but it’s also prospering. The state law that set emission goals nearly a decade ago hasn’t harmed livelihoods or sent business fleeing.
This experience should teach Sacramento an important lesson as lawmakers face a decision on doing more about climate change. The state Legislature is on the verge of approving a sweeping measure, SB350, that would cut gas and diesel use by half, boost renewable sources of electricity from a third to 50 percent, and double energy efficiency in buildings, all within 15 years. A second measure, SB32, would widen a state cap-and-trade program that cuts other sources of emissions blamed for rising global temperatures.
These targets will put California far beyond President Obama’s plans to curb pollution from power plants and boost solar, wind and biofuels in the nation’s mix of energy sources. But SB350, which has passed the state Senate, could falter in the Assembly where more moderate, business-friendly Democrats hold power.
The forces are building to block the bill, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, a Los Angeles Democrat. The oil industry, a steady source of campaign funds, is putting pressure on Assembly Democrats to stop the bill or water it down. These foes predict gas rationing, extra fees and arbitrary directives from state bureaucrats if the law kicks in.
Walking away from the bill would be a mistake, a step backward that will deny California cleaner air, greener energy and an opportunity to lead a timid nation on an essential issue. Wavering lawmakers should consider a recent poll showing that two-thirds of the state believes a deepening drought is linked to climate change and supports Gov. Jerry Brown’s directives that match up with SB350.
Along with California’s welcoming politics on the topic, there is direct experience to consider. Tech breakthroughs ranging from cleaner-burning engines to cheaper solar panels are helping this state move forward. Growing numbers of high-mileage cars, including electric and hybrid models, are expected to provide nearly half of the gas savings needed to hit the 50 percent drop by 2030.
There are reasons to be cautious. Energy improvements often come with steep startup costs such as solar panels on the roof or the purchase of a gas-thrifty car. Low-income residents will need a break in tapping technology available only to well-off consumers. State regulators should be flexible in designing new programs to advance conservation.
But California has shown it can adapt and thrive as it heads in this direction. Climate change is a provable and genuine threat to the state’s future. It’s time to adopt genuine changes that guide the state in the right direction and serve as a model for the rest of the country.
How far should California go?
A sweeping bill would change the way residents drive, live and work. Here are the major ingredients of SB350, which has passed the state Senate and is up for a vote in the Assembly:
On the road: Cut petroleum use in half by 2030. Tailpipe emissions are a top source of carbon dioxide, the main factor behind climate change. Oil companies are lobbying heavily against the limit, saying it will bring angry lines at gas pumps in a car-crazy state. Higher-mileage cars including electric and hybrids will be key in making this directive work.
On the grid: Half of the state’s electricity would come from renewables, up from a one-third level in five years. Utilities have qualms but are not actively opposed.
In the home: Doubling the efficiency in buildings to conserve heating and cooling costs. No major opposition.