California Pushes Its Aggressive Climate Action Plans Ahead

Undeterred by the chuckles of reactionaries over its plan to eliminate the sale of light cars and trucks by 2035, California pushed its climate agenda forward again this week with several more laws. According to a press release from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office, the package of new laws will reduce pollution, protect Californians from major polluters and accelerate the state’s transition to clean energy.

Working with legislative leaders, the new legislative package promises to make the state carbon neutral by 2045 and 90% clean energy by 2035. nature-based solutions to global warming. California is investing $54 billion in these programs, which is more than many countries do. Those investments will provide economic opportunity and environmental justice in communities across the state.

The governor’s office says that over the next two decades, the California Climate Commitment will:

  • Create 4 million new jobs
  • Reduce air pollution by 60%
  • Reduce state oil consumption by 91%
  • Save California $23 Billion by Preventing the Damage of Pollution
  • Reduce the use of fossil fuels in buildings and transport by 92%
  • Reduce pollution from refineries by 94%

“This month has been a wake-up call for all of us, because later it will be too late to do anything about climate change. California won’t wait any longer,” says Newsom. “California, along with the legislature, is taking the most aggressive climate action our country has ever seen. We clean the air we breathe, hold the major polluters accountable and usher in a new era of clean energy. That’s climate action on the California Way — and we’re not just doubling down, we’re just getting started.”

“Our state has experienced extreme temperatures, putting our communities, especially our most vulnerable neighbors, at risk. We also continue to struggle with a historic drought and the ongoing threat of wildfires. The challenges of climate change are here, and this legislative session we have taken bold action to address these dire conditions and mitigate future risks, both through our state budget and key legislation,” said the Senate President. pro tem Toni G. Atkins.

“We have set ambitious and necessary goals to reduce CO2 emissions and increase renewable energy. We provided the tools industry needs to capture and store carbon before it enters the atmosphere. And we’ve invested in critical infrastructure programs that will keep us firmly on the path to a greener future, while also creating jobs that will support families across the state. California has led the nation, and will continue to do so, not only in tackling the worsening climate crisis, but also in finding proactive solutions.”

The climate package signed today includes:

  • carbon neutrality — AB 1279 codifies the statewide goal of carbon neutrality to dramatically reduce climate pollution. It sets a clear, legally binding and achievable goal for California to become statewide carbon neutral as soon as possible, but no later than 2045.
  • Protect communities from oil drilling — SB 1137 protects communities from the damaging effects of the oil industry. If a distance of 3,200 feet is established between a new oil well and any homes, schools, parks or businesses open to the public. Ir also provides comprehensive pollution control for existing oil wells within 3,200 feet of these facilities.
  • 100% clean electrical grid — SB 1020 lays down a path to the state’s clean energy future. It is creating targets for clean electricity of 90% by 2035 and 95% by 2040 with the intent to advance the state’s trajectory towards existing 100% clean electricity sales by 2045.
  • Capture and remove carbon pollution — SB 905 and SB 1314 advanced engineering technologies to remove carbon pollution while prohibiting the use of those technologies for enhanced oil recovery. They establish a clear regulatory framework for carbon removal and carbon capture, use and capture and prohibit the practice of injecting carbon dioxide into wells with the aim of improving oil recovery.
  • Nature-based solutions — AB 1757 puts nature on the state’s climate agenda. It requires the state to develop an achievable carbon removal target for natural and working lands.

In a July letter to the chairman of the California Air Resources Board, Governor Newsom called on the state to ensure that the 2022 climate change plan provides a path to achieving both the 2030 climate target and the state’s carbon neutrality by 2045 at the latest. . requested the final plan to include new efforts to promote offshore wind energy, clean fuels, climate-friendly homes, carbon removal and measures to reduce methane leakage.

California gets approval to expand EV charging infrastructure

Also this week, the federal government approved a joint plan by Caltrans and the California Energy Commission to expand electric vehicle charging facilities within the state. In a separate press release, the California Energy Commission announced that it may now begin using federal infrastructure funds to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations along the state’s highways and freeways. This follows the approval by the US Joint Office of Energy and Transportation’s of California’s implementation plan in accordance with the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

That approval makes $56 million in funding immediately available to pay for the installation of charging stations across the state. Funded by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA), California expects to receive a total of $384 million for the program over the next five years. The federal funding will build on California’s historic multi-year $10 billion investment to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles by improving affordability and expanding charging infrastructure.

“Thanks to the Biden-Harris administration’s approval of California’s NEVI plan, we can put historic levels of federal infrastructure funding to work to close gaps in the evolving EV charging network of our state highway system and improve the availability and reliability for low-income and rural residents. ‘ said California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin. “Combined with unprecedented state investment in zero-emission vehicles, this funding will help California’s national-leading efforts to dramatically reduce climate-changing pollution from the transportation sector.”

The federal funds will ramp up efforts to complete a 6,600-mile state-wide charging network and deploy 1.2 million chargers by 2030 to meet the projected charging needs of the state’s EV fleet.

“With this unprecedented federal investment, California can advance our vision of a unified network of charging stations along the state’s busiest corridors,” said Patty Monahan, commissioner of the California Energy Commission. “This new network will increase access to charging, particularly in rural areas of our state, and help EV drivers recharge on long journeys.”

The state’s NEVI plan focuses on building DC fast charging stations near state and state transportation routes throughout California. These charging stations will increase the availability of charging options, improve the reliability of the charging network and remove barriers to buying or leasing electric cars. NEVI funding also supports upgrades to existing infrastructure, charging station maintenance costs, community and stakeholder engagement, staff development and related maps and signage.

The takeaway

There are more zero-emission vehicles and public chargers in California than in any other state. It is also a leader in EV production, thanks to Tesla’s factory in Fremont. Tongues are wagging on Faux News and social media about how California is spending tons of money to cut its emissions, bolster its electric grid and promote more renewable energy.

But here’s the thing. Opponents prefer not to take action to address the growing global climate emergency. At least California has a plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, according to an ancient wisdom. Soon the idle, ignorant crowd will be looking around and wondering what happened when climate change turns their comfortable existence upside down. California may not succeed in all its goals, but at least it has goals that are essential to effectively tackle any challenge.


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