Senate Democrats propose new climate change legislation

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 12, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Earlier this week, Senate Democrats announced a plan to implement an interpretation of Governor Jerry Brown’s ambitious plan to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The plan announced on the East Lawn of the State Capitol Building seeks to establish California’s post-2020 climate change policy and set an example for world leaders to follow at a U.N. climate change conference in Paris later this year.

The most significant component of the package, SB 32 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), calls for the Air Resources Board (ARB) to implement regulations to reduce GHG emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and permits ARB to set goals for 2030 and 2040. Much like AB 32 that established the cap and trade program in the first place, SB 32 empowers ARB to develop and implement major regulations without legislative authorization or input.

Another major component of the package (SB 350) has yet to be formally introduced, but it will include a version of Governor Brown’s “50-50-50” plan, including a 50 percent reduction in the use of petroleum-based fuels, a 50 percent reduction in California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and a 50 percent increase in the efficiency of existing buildings.

What remains missing from the Senate plan is a focus on rebuilding manufacturing in California. High electricity prices that have California manufacturers paying 70 percent above the national average are a powerful motivator to locate new facilities and growth outside of California.

Serious questions remain over the impact of this package of climate change bills on California’s manufacturers as they do not address already high electricity rates and risking even higher rates while relying on the growth in “green jobs” to boost California’s economy.

CMTA looks forward to working constructively with the Legislature and the important tasks of empowering manufacturers to be more efficient, create jobs, and reduce GHG emissions in an economically responsible manner. The Governor and California legislators must take a closer look at climate change policy and put the economy and manufacturers front and center on the priority list. California’s ability to grow the middle class and create opportunity depend on it.

2015 Senate Democrats Climate Change Bill Package

  • SB 32 (Pavley) Establishes a goal of reducing GHG emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, permits ARB to set goals for 2030 and 2040, and requires the inclusion of short-lived climate pollutants (i.e. methane).
  • SB 185 (Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles) Requires state public retirement systems to divest of investments in thermal coal companies by the earliest possible date.
  • SB 189 (Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista) Creates the “Clean Energy and Low-Carbon Economic and Jobs Growth Blue Ribbon Committee” to advise state agencies on the most effective ways to increase clean energy and GHG funds and the implementation of policies to grow jobs and the California economy.
  • SB 350 (Not yet introduced) This bill will include the three goals of:

    o   50 percent reduction in the use of petroleum-based fuels;

    o   50 percent of electricity produced by renewable resources; and

    o   50 percent increase in the energy efficiency of existing buildings.

CMTA President Dorothy Rothrock’s Statement on Senate Climate Change Plan

Senate Democrats Climate Change Plan Announcement– February 10, 2015

Senate Climate Change Website

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