Governor signs bill requiring state to reduce greenhouse emissions

He was joined by key legislators who led the legislation's approval, including Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Pavley, Garcia, Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Los Angeles.

The pair of bills, SB 32 and AB 197, requires the state to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. The state is set to meet or exceed that benchmark, Brown said, with steps including restricting the carbon content of gasoline and diesel fuel, encouraging sales of zero-emission vehicles and imposing a tax on pollution.

"These bills represent a commitment to carrying California's leadership through the next couple of decades, leading the world towards creating a more sustainable economy", said Tim Frank, director of the Center for Sustainable Neighborhoods in Berkeley, who flew down for the bill signing event. It set a new goal to cut emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. State officials say California is now on course to reach a goal of reducing greenhouse gas pollution to 1990 levels in 2020, in line with the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The scale and ambition of this bill will also keep California at the forefront of clean technology investment for years to come.

The new legislation will "impose very severe caps on the emission of greenhouse gases in California, without requiring the regulatory agencies to give any consideration to the impacts on our economy, disruptions in everyone's daily lives or the fact that California's population will grow nearly 50 percent between 1990 and 2030", the California Chamber of Commerce said in a statement.

The chamber warned that the expanded climate change law will require severe new restrictions that could make the state's energy supply less affordable.

After the new legislation was approved by lawmakers last month, Brown said he would have additional leverage to persuade businesses to support an extension of cap and trade.

"One big accomplishment to date of California climate policy is demonstrating that we can cut greenhouse gases and still achieve impressive economic growth", she said in an email.

“SB 32 extends Californias landmark greenhouse gas reduction goals. Brown is set to extend the nation's most ambitious climate change law by another 10 years, charting a new goal to reduce carbon pollution.

But his signing leaves in jeopardy the state's best-known emissions reduction measure.

The law does little to change the state's cap-and-trade emissions trading system.

AB 197, written by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), establishes a new legislative committee to oversee environmental regulation, giving lawmakers more say in efforts to improve air quality and reduce pollution. The governor spoke in the park in front of a small audience with the downtown Los Angeles cityscape behind him. But Nielsen said Brown's office has "turned a blind eye" in moving ahead with climate-change legislation, calling it a "shocking contradiction to the clear legal opinion provided by the Legislature's own attorney".

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