Gov. Brown Sets New Climate Change Goals

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, Jan. 9, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In his combined State of the State speech and record-setting fourth Inaugural Address on Monday, Governor Jerry Brown announced ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with three major policy changes. On the table for 2030 are an increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from the 33 percent in 2020 to 50 percent in 2030, a 50 percent reduction in the use of petroleum-based fuels in vehicles, and a doubling of the energy efficiency of existing buildings.

While the speech was light on the details of how California would accomplish such goals in the next fifteen years, the Air Resources Board (ARB ) released a one-page document on the plan to reduce the use of petroleum-based fuels and the Governor’s Proposed Budget includes $1 billion in cap and trade funds that is being spent on low carbon transportation projects, High-Speed Rail, and Sustainable Communities Program (SB 375). CMTA staff is reviewing both documents and will provide more detail as they become available.

In order to meet the goal of reducing petroleum-based fuels ARB points to several options, including a reduction in vehicle miles travelled (VMT), increasing fuel efficiency of light and heavy duty vehicles, and doubling the use of alternative fuels (e.g. electricity, biofuels, and hydrogen).

Governor Brown stated that this was necessary to meet federal air quality standards and protect against the impacts of climate change on public health and our economy. However, he was also careful to note that this can and should be done with an eye toward protecting the “vibrancy of our economy”.

CMTA continues to support efforts to increase the efficiency and economic performance of manufacturing while achieving additional benefits through the reduction of environmental impacts. California must not look past the issues today with the implementation of AB 32 and the problems with the current cap and trade regulation because it more exciting to plan for 2030 and beyond. Failure to address the challenges of today lays a faulty foundation for the future.

Manufacturers will grow middle class jobs and fund facility expansions in California only if we strike the right balance in a statewide energy plan for these bold policies.

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