Tag Archives: California regulation

California regulators restore emissions-cutting fuel rule

Repost from the Associated Press

California regulators restore emissions-cutting fuel rule

By Judy Lin, Sep. 25, 2015 5:49 PM EDT
Mary NIchols, Barbara Riordan
Mary Nichols, left, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, applauds after the board restored ambitious rules to cut transportation fuel emissions 10 percent within 5 years, during a hearing in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. By a 9-0 vote the board restored rules requiring a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions on fuels sold in the state by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices. At right is ARB board member Barbara Riordan. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators on Friday restored ambitious rules to cut transportation fuel emissions 10 percent within 5 years, a decision that gives Gov. Jerry Brown a boost for his climate change agenda.

The rules further strengthen California’s toughest-in-the-nation carbon emissions standards, but oil producers warn the changes could drive up costs for consumers at the gas pump.

The changes are expected to add a few cents a gallon to the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel in the state that already has some of the highest gas prices in the nation. The state estimates a typical commuter will pay an extra $20 to $24 in 2017, increasing to $52 to $56 in 2020.

“We are on a path to reduce our dependence on petroleum and this program is a key piece of that action,” Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, said ahead of the vote.

Brown, a Democrat, has vowed to intensify his fight against climate change after the oil lobby helped kill a Democratic legislative proposal earlier this month to slash statewide petroleum use by half in 15 years. The board is the state’s top regulatory agency to enforce rules aimed at reducing air pollution.

Regulators voted 9-0 to re-adopt its low-carbon fuel standard, which requires producers to cut the carbon content of fuels 10 percent by 2020 to help the state meet its emission-reductions goals.

The program was initially adopted in 2009 but the reduction target has been frozen at 1 percent because of a court fight. Friday’s vote allows the state to resume its program; modifies rules in response to industry concerns about price spikes; and gives companies more credits for using renewable hydrogen and other investments to reduce pollutants.

Supporters say the program is worthwhile because it will encourage greater use of cleaner biofuels and electric vehicles, which can be cheaper to operate than those powered by gasoline or diesel.

“This puts it back on track,” Bill Magavern, policy director at Coalition for Clean Air, an environmental advocacy group, said after the vote. “We have other programs that address vehicle technologies and vehicle miles traveled, and this is the one that tells oil companies to reduce the carbon intensity of their fuels.”

Oil producers counter that the rules are unworkable and too costly. They said the standard will impact consumers as the companies try to comply with the mandate or face being shut out of the market.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, which represents oil companies, said the low carbon fuel standard jeopardizes the state’s energy future and adds uncertainty.

“California motorists need to know what is coming and how these regulations will impact transportation fuels,” Reheis-Boyd said in a statement.

Unlike other rules the state has adopted requiring cleaner-burning fuel or more fuel-efficient vehicles, the standard, first proposed in a 2007 executive order from then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, calls for counting all the pollution required to deliver gasoline, diesel or alternative fuels to in-state consumers — from drilling a new oil well or planting corn to delivering it to gas stations.

In addition to tailpipe emissions, it includes factors such as whether an ethanol factory uses coal or natural gas to power production or an oil rig uses diesel fuel to drill.

Regulators are targeting transportation fuels because California’s roughly 30 million vehicles account for about 40 percent of the state’s emissions — the largest source. The rest comes from generating electricity and industrial manufacturing, as well as commercial, residential and agricultural uses.

All fuels are measured against a baseline pollution standard. If a fuel falls above or below the baseline, it generates a credit or deficit that other producers can buy and sell to meet the target.

It’s up to fuel producers to figure out how to meet the goal, whether by changing production methods, using ethanol or electric vehicles for transportation or buying credits on the market.

After the rule’s initial adoption, out-of-state refiners and ethanol companies were among those who sued, arguing that transporting the fuels into California alone made them less competitive against in-state producers. They argued the law unconstitutionally limits interstate commerce.

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a 2013 appeals court decision upholding the fuel standard.

Opponents continue to challenge the state’s authority to regulate out-of-state production. Oil firms are also trying to block a similar standard enacted in Oregon, the only other state with a clean fuel standard.

Friday’s move to restore California’s program is not related to Volkswagen drawing international attention for violating separate federal and state rules that regulate emissions from vehicles.

SF Chronicle Editorial: California should stick with clean-fuel rule

Repost from the San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial: California should stick with clean-fuel rule

San Francisco Chronicle, September 22, 2015

Though state lawmakers caved to the oil industry by spiking a plan to sharply reduce gasoline use, there’s another option for Sacramento in reducing climate change and promoting alternative sources to fill gas tanks. State regulators are close to extending a measure that cuts carbon levels in everyday driving fuel.

The low-carbon standard is among a batch of policies designed to cut carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse-gas culprit blamed for rising temperatures and whipsawing weather. Extending the mandate to cut levels in gas is an essential part of state strategies to curb climate change.

Reducing the carbon level in gas has other benefits. It spurs development of alternative biofuels to wean California off its petroleum diet. The skies will be clearer and public health improved. It nudges the state toward more low-emission vehicles by showcasing the innovation needed to change gas-burning habits.

It’s not without controversy. Oil producers and Midwest ethanol producers say the plan is too flawed and complicated to work, an argument that failed in court last year. But this week, a string of major businesses — eBay, KB Home and Dignity Health among them — is backing the fuel rule. “It’s a practical, gradual and manageable transition,” said Anne Kelly, director of the employer coalition known as Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy.

Later this week the state Air Resources Board will consider extending the low-carbon standard, first promulgated in 2007. It’s almost certain to renew the policy, which aims to lower carbon levels by 10 percent by 2020.

The larger picture should be unmistakable. California is pushing ahead on major climate-change measures that Washington is too timid to undertake. The state is increasing renewable energy to light homes and businesses. Rules to encourage thriftier ways of heating and cooling will be strengthened. The worries about lost jobs and shuttered businesses aren’t proving true as the state’s economy gathers steam.

Changing the ingredients in gas-pump fuels should be part of this overall trend. Renewing the low-carbon standard will be good for California’s future.

California Legislature Approves Landmark Climate Legislation—SB 350

From a State Senator Kevin De León Press Release
[Editor: See latest on SB 350 on leginfo.ca.gov.  – RS] 

Legislature Approves Landmark Climate Legislation—SB 350

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 11, 2015

Contact: Claire.Conlon@sen.ca.gov (916) 651-4024

SB 350 Bill Authors Senators Mark Leno and Kevin de León are joined by Senate colleagues and bill supporters at a 2/10/15 press conference where the California Climate Leadership Package was announced.

SACRAMENTO – On September 11, 2015, the California Legislature approved the nation’s most far-reaching climate change legislation by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León, sending the measure to the Governor for his signature.

SB 350, The Clean Energy and Reduction Act, codifies Governor Brown’s goals to double energy efficiency in our buildings and generate half of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030—in the largest state in the union and the eighth largest economy in the world. Before amendments made in the Assembly this week, the original measure also included a provision to reduce demand for petroleum use in vehicles by 50 percent.

“These new steps build on California’s historic commitment to lead the world in the fight against climate change and build a healthy and livable planet for our children and grandchildren,” said Senate leader De León. “But our efforts to reduce carbon emissions are far from over as global warming and air pollution remain one of the most important issues of our generation and one the greatest threats for generations to come.”

Said Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, who presented SB 350 on the Assembly floor Friday night: “This is, make no doubt about it, landmark legislation for California. We will continue to lead the way.”

Highlights (from Sen. De León‘s Newsroom):

Full List of Support for SB 350:

  • 350.org
  • 350 Bay Area/Marin
  • Academy of Pediatrics- California
  • Advanced Energy Economy (AEE)
  • Alameda Building Trades Council
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors
  • Alliance for Solar Choice
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • American Farmland Trust
  • American Lung Association
  • American Lung Association-California
  • American White Water
  • Annies’s Natural Foods
  • Artesia City Councilmember Ali Sajjad Taj
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network
  • Asthma and Sinus Center
  • Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County
  • Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Audubon
  • Autodesk
  • AzTech
  • Aztec Energy
  • Azul
  • Baz Allergy
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Beneficial State Bank
  • Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates
  • Berkshire Hathaway Energy
  • Biosynthetic Technologies
  • Blattner Energy
  • Bloom Energy
  • Bonnie J. Adario Lung Cancer Foundation
  • Borrego Solar
  • Breathe California
  • Bright Power
  • BYD Motors, Inc.
  • CA Local conservation corps
  • California Association of Sanitation Agencies
  • California Bicycle Coalition
  • California Biomass Energy Alliance
  • California Black Health Network
  • California Catholic Conference
  • California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health
  • California Conservation Corps
  • California Democratic Party
  • California District Council of Ironworkers
  • California Energy Efficiency Industry Council
  • California Energy Storage Alliance
  • California Environmental Justice Alliance
  • California Equity Leaders Network
  • California Federation of Teachers
  • California Interfaith Power and Light
  • California League of Conservation Voters
  • California Municipal Utilities Association
  • California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition (CNGVC)
  • California Nurses Association
  • California Pan Ethnic Health Network
  • California Public Health Association- North
  • California Solar
  • California Solar Energy Industry Association
  • California State Association of Electrical Workers
  • California State Pipes Trade Council
  • California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
  • California Thoracic Society
  • California Trout
  • California Walks
  • California Wind Energy Association
  • California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers
  • Californians Against Waste
  • CalSTART
  • Canadian Solar
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton
  • Center for Climate Change and Health
  • Center for Sustainable Energy
  • Center on Race Poverty and the Environment
  • Central California Asthma Collaborative
  • Chai Energy
  • ChangeLab Solutions
  • Circulate San Diego
  • City of Glendale
  • City of Huntington Park City of Los Angeles
  • City of Santa Monica
  • Clean Energy Collective
  • Clean Energy and Clean Energy Renewable Fuels
  • Clean Fuel Partners
  • Clean Power Campaign
  • Clean Power Finance
  • Clean Water Action
  • CleanTech San Diego
  • Cleveland National Forest Foundation
  • CLIF Bar & Co.
  • Climate Parents
  • Climate Resolve
  • Coalition for Clean Air
  • Coalition for Renewables and Gas
  • Coalition for Sustainable Transportation
  • Coalition of California Utility Employees
  • Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation
  • Code REDD
  • Contra Costa Building Trades Council
  • Controller Betty Yee
  • County of Los Angeles Public Health
  • Dignity Health
  • Distinguished Outreach Services
  • Doctors for Climate Health
  • Dr. Carl Wunsch (Harvard)
  • Dr. Roger Bales (UC Merced)
  • Eagle Creek
  • Eagle Crest Energy
  • Eco Factor
  • EDF Renewable Energy
  • Endangered Habitats League
  • EnergyHub
  • energyhippo
  • Energy Source
  • Environment California
  • Environmental and Energy Consulting
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2)
  • Eon Energy
  • EtaGen
  • First Fuel
  • First Solar
  • Fresno, Madera, and Kings Building Trades Council
  • Friends Committee on Legislation of California
  • Friends of the River
  • fs energy
  • Gaia Development Services
  • Gap, Inc. Genability
  • Greenbelt Alliance
  • Greenlining institute
  • Green Star Solutions
  • greentech
  • GRID Alternatives
  • Harvest Power
  • Hawthorne City Councilmember Angie Reyes English
  • Health Care Without Harm
  • Health Officers Association of California
  • Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers
  • Home Energy Analytics
  • Humboldt/Del Norte Building Trades Council
  • Hydropower Reform Coalition
  • icontrol Networks
  • Inglewood City Councilmember Eloy Morales
  • Imperial Building Trades Council
  • Independent Energy Producers Association
  • Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades
  • Investor Confidence Project
  • KB Home
  • Kern, Inyo & Mono Building Trades Council
  • kW Engineering
  • Lancaster Choice Energy
  • Large Scale Solar Association
  • League of Women Voters of California
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Long Beach  Mayor Robert Garcia
  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative
  • Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education
  • Los Angeles/Orange Building Trades Council
  • Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California
  • Lyft
  • Marin Building Trades Council
  • Marin Clean Energy
  • Mars, Inc.
  • McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
  • Medical Advocates for Healthy Air
  • Methanol Institute
  • Mercury Press International
  • Mid Valley Building Trades Council
  • Mission Data Empowering Energy Savings
  • Moms Clean Air Force
  • Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian
  • Monterey/Santa Cruz Building Trades Council
  • Motiv Power Solutions
  • Mountain Riders Alliance
  • Move LA
  • Napa/Solano Building Trades Council
  • Natel Energy
  • National Parks Conservation Association
  • Natural Resource Defense Council
  • Nature Conservancy
  • Nest
  • NextGen Climate
  • NextTracker, Inc
  • Nobel economist Dr. Kenneth Arrow (Stanford)
  • Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Mario Molina (UCSD)
  • Northeastern, Shasta, Trinity, Lassen & Tehama Building Trades Council
  • Northface
  • NRG Energy, Inc.
  • Oakland City Council
  • Office of Ratepayer Advocates
  • OPEN
  • Pacific Ethanol
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • Pattern Energy
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
  • Planning and Conservation League
  • plotwatt
  • PolicyLink
  • Propel
  • Proterra, Inc.
  • Public Advocates
  • Public Health Institute
  • Rainforest Automation
  • Recurrent Energy
  • Redlands Area Democratic Club
  • Regional Asthma Management and Prevention
  • Rep. Adam Schiff
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal
  • Rep. Anna Eshoo
  • Rep. Barbara Lee
  • Rep. Doris Matsui
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell
  • Rep. Janice Hahn
  • Rep. Jared Huffman
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney
  • Rep. John Garamendi
  • Rep. Juan Vargas
  • Rep. Judy Chu
  • Rep. Julia Brownley
  • Rep. Karen Bass
  • Rep. Lois Capps
  • Rep. Loretta Sanchez
  • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier
  • Rep. Mark Takano
  • Rep. Mike Honda
  • Rep. Mike Thompson
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi
  • Rep. Scott Peters
  • Rep. Susan Davis
  • Rep. Ted Lieu
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren
  • Retroficiency
  • Sacramento Electric Vehicle Association
  • Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Sacramento/Sierra Building Trades Council
  • San Bernardino/Riverside Building Trades Council
  • San Diego Building Trades Council
  • San Fernando City Councilmember Antonio Lopez
  • San Fernando City Councilmember Robert Gonzales
  • San Francisco Asthma Task Force
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • San Francisco Building Trades Council
  • San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • San Joaquin, Calaveras & Alpine Building Trades Council
  • San Mateo Building Trades Council
  • Santa Ana City Councilmember Michele Martinez
  • Santa Barbara County Air Quality Control District
  • Santa Clara County Medical Society
  • Santa Clara/San Benito Building Trades Council
  • Sempra Energy Utilities
  • Sequoia Riverlands Trust
  • Service Employees International Union – California
  • Sierra Business Council
  • Sierra Club California
  • Signal Energy, LLC
  • Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Small Business California
  • SmartWool
  • Solar City
  • Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Sonoma Clean Power
  • Sonoma County Asthma Coalition
  • Sonoma, Mendocino & Lake Building Trades Council
  • South Yuba River Citizens League
  • Southern California Edison
  • Southern California Public Power
  • Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association
  • Stanislaus, Merced & Mariposa Building Trades Council
  • State Association of Electrical Workers
  • State Building and Construction Trade Council of California
  • Stem, Inc.
  • Sun Edison
  • Sungevity
  • Sunpower
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
  • Sustainable Power Group
  • Symantec
  • TechNet
  • The Utility Reform Network
  • Thinkshift Communications
  • TransForm
  • Treasurer John Chiang
  • Tri-Counties Building Trades Council
  • Trust for Public Lands
  • Tulare County Citizens for Responsible Growth
  • U.S. Senator Boxer
  • U.S. Senator Feinstein   Unilever
  • Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Union of Elevator Constructors
  • United Union of Roofers, Waterpoofers and Allied Trades
  • US Green Building Council
  • UtiliSave
  • Valley Clean Air Now
  • Verdafera
  • Vivint Solar
  • Voices For Progress
  • Vote Solar
  • Watersmart Software
  • Watsonville City Council   WeatherBug Home
  • Western Council of Sheet Metal Workers
  • Western State Council
  • Wireless Advanced Vehicle Electrification

For more information about California’s climate leadership visit:



Photo: SB 350 Bill Authors Senators Mark Leno and Kevin de León are joined by Senate colleagues and bill supporters at a 2/10/15 press conference where the California Climate Leadership Package was announced


Claire Conlon
Press Secretary
Office of Senate President pro Tempore
Senator Kevin de León
24th Senate District – Los Angeles
(916) 651-4024


SB32 and SB350 – both bills stalled in Cal Assembly

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.