California Lawmakers Start Conversation on Climate Change
California lawmakers are finally waking up to the seriousness of the environmental issues that have been plaguing this state for years. The introduction of various bills on February 10 will get the conversation going among environmental advocates, state lawmakers, and oil companies.
A conversation is not necessarily an indication of change, but this is the first time that lawmakers are taking seriously several of Governor Jerry Brown’s climate change objectives laid out in his January inaugural address. If the legislature passes the measures, it would show support for California’s focus on renewable energy and alternative fuel opportunities.
Those who are skeptical of Brown’s proposal remain unsure about the economic feasibility of implementing those measures. That is why supporters are specifically focusing on economic development as part of a concerted effort to convince those who remain uncertain. Their goal is to convince people that not only is the investment in green energy paying off, it is also leading to a new surge of job creation.
Of course, it is no surprise that oil companies oppose these proposals as a matter of survival and self-interest. They are particularly turned off by a measure proposed by Senators De Leon and Leno, which sets a “crazy” 5% reduction target in the use of gasoline for transportation by 2030.
If the measures are passed, California would start down a path of investing in clean technology and energy efficiency while decreasing the amount of gasoline usage on state roads. Shocking, I know.
These conversations and negotiations are the beginning of a crucial dialogue on the state of California’s future. Whether the conversation between lawmakers, environmental advocates and oil companies turns into a free-for-all wrestling match is left to be seen. We can only hope that lawmakers will appreciate the gravity of this issue enough to take the necessary next steps.