Tag Archives: Ab 32

At Paris climate talks, nations will look to California

By Sammy Roth, The Desert Sun

California has long led the world in tackling climate change. Now, Golden State leaders hope the rest of the world will follow their lead.

Negotiators from more than 190 countries will gather in Paris two weeks from Monday, in a last-ditch effort to strike a deal that averts catastrophic levels of global warming. Gov. Jerry Brown plans to lead a delegation of eight lawmakers, and they’ll be joined by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, and many other environmental advocates who want to see world leaders draw inspiration from California.

California isn’t a country, but for the purposes of Paris it might as well be. It’s the world’s eighth-largest economy, and the federal government often adopts the state’s ambitious environmental policies. Brown’s administration has worked with national and regional governments in Canada, Mexico, China and elsewhere on programs to slash carbon emissions. The governor has made it clear he wants California to play a prominent role in Paris. “The real source of climate action has to come from states and provinces,” Brown said earlier this year at a climate summit in Toronto. “This is a call to arms. We’re going to build up such a drumbeat that our national counterparts — they’re going to listen.”

When Brown and others arrive in Paris, they’ll have quite a story to tell. California now gets a quarter of its electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind, a figure expected to double by 2030. Californians use the same amount of energy today as they did in the 1970s, even as per-person energy use has spiked across most of the country. Policies to discourage gasoline consumption have led to cleaner fuels and helped put more than 150,000 electric vehicles on the road, a number that is growing quickly.

While California’s climate efforts are by no means perfect, world leaders can learn a lot from the state’s multi-pronged approach to global warming, policy and legal experts say. The key lesson, they say, is that the state has acted on climate without inflicting economic disaster. The state has outpaced the rest of the country in job growth and GDP growth since the height of the Great Recession, even as carbon pollution has fallen.

The Desert Sun interviewed nearly a dozen lawmakers, academics, activists and researchers about what California is doing to address climate change. Here’s a primer on what they think the nations of the world should — and shouldn’t — learn from the Golden State…[Read More]

Read full article in the Desert Sun

Pavley’s New Global Warming Bill Moving Along; Stricter than AB32

A key Assembly panel has endorsed legislation by state Senator Fran Pavley to extend California’s efforts to reduce climate-changing pollution well into the 21st Century. Senate Bill 32 passed the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Monday and now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 32 builds on progress made by Sen. Pavley’s 2006 law, AB 32. The landmark legislation required polluters to cut releases of carbon dioxide and other types of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. SB 32 sets a statewide goal of reduce climate pollution to 80% below 1990 levels by mid-century.

The bill leaves details about how those goals are reached to the Legislature, future governors and state regulators. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León’s bill, SB 350, which also won committee approval, is a first step. The proposal would cut petroleum consumption, boost production of clean, renewable power and increase the energy efficiency of buildings.

Read full press release from the Office of Sen. Fran Pavley

Environmental groups again seek to halt solar project

By Adam Breen, BenitoLink

The Sierra Club and the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society have reignited their effort to halt the $650 million, 2,400-acre Panoche Valley Solar Project by filing a lawsuit against the San Benito County and the Board of Supervisors in local superior court, claiming that environmental impacts of the project still have not been adequately addressed. The environmental groups are challenging the certification of the final supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) for the project, as well as the approval of the project’s amended use permit.

The groups claim the final environmental report for the project provides “inadequate mitigation measures regarding the Project’s potentially significant environmental impacts to biological resources,” such as wildlife and groundwater. They are asking the court to vacate and set aside certification of the final SEIR and all approvals of the project, on the grounds that it violates the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The petitioners also seek the suspension of all approvals and construction contracts for the project, until the project complies with CEQA. The court filing also asks for the preparation and circulation of a new supplemental EIR for the project. The Sierra Club and Audubon Society’s lawsuit seeks re-circulation of the final SEIR because it includes new information on environmental impacts to avian species such as the California Condor and Tri-colored Blackbird.

The legal battles over the project have spanned half a decade, with the most recent county action occurring May 19, when the Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected appeals to the county Planning Commission’s approval of a supplemental EIR for the long-planned 247-megawatt project, which is approximately two miles southwest of the Fresno County line and the Panoche Hills in southern San Benito County, approximately 15 miles west of Interstate 5

Read full article from BenitoLink