Climate Change debate heats up with arrival of summer

By Michael Shaw

Capitol Update, June 26, 2015 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The first hearing for a key piece of the Senate Democrats Climate Change Package is set for the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee on July 6th. SB 350 by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) proposes a series of targets to reduce petroleum fuel use by 50 percent, raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) from 33 percent to 50 percent and decrease energy use by existing buildings by 50 percent. All by 2030. 

How SB 350 proposes to accomplish these aggressive goals would be left to state agencies, primarily the State Air Resources Board (ARB), to determine. In the case of fuels, ARB would be responsible for imposing regulations and programs to reduce petroleum fuel use by over 8 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel. 

SB 350 offers a lot of questions, but few answers and no off-ramps should fuel or energy prices shoot up dramatically. The bill also does not require that any other state or nation join California in its fight to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

California can be the leader, but that requires policies that promote in-state manufacturing growth. Boosting California's new manufacturing investments from the low two percent share of the national total would bring more jobs and ultimately reduce global emissions as operations here are cleaner than elsewhere.

CMTA is leading the opposition to SB 350 along with other business organizations in order to protect manufacturers from out of control energy and fuel prices. Expect a long, hot summer as debate heats up over the future of climate change policy in California.

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