President Obama recently announced a climate change plan that will allow states to create customized plans meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The plan also calls for electrical utilities to increase the power they generate from renewable sources from 22 percent to 28 percent. With the environmental policies that the state of California already has in place, however, the state does not expect to have any problems with the new policies. In fact, the plans currently in place for California surpass the federal mandates, which puts California in the position to serve as a leader among the states as it helps them implement the new mandates.
White House Sets New Carbon Pollution Standards
The White House released its Clean Power Plan on August 3rd in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The overall goal of the plan is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from the levels they were at 2005 to 2030. The original proposal called for reducing emissions by 23 percent, making the final goal far more ambitious. By implementing the plan, the White House hopes to achieve several goals. These include:
* Improve the Health of the Public
* Create Jobs
* Encourage Investment in Clean Energy
* Help Families Save Money
According to the new plan, reducing carbon dioxide emissions will reduce premature deaths from power plant emissions by nearly 90 percent while also decreasing the pollutants that contribute to soot and smog. The White House estimates that the new plan will help to prevent 3,600 premature deaths as well as 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children. Tens of thousands of jobs are also expected to be created in response to the new plan, which is expected to increase investment in clean energy technology while prioritizing wind and solar energy deployment. The White House further estimates that the average American family will save nearly $85 per year on their energy costs in 2030.
California’s Environmental Policies
After winning his fourth term, Governor Jerry Brown made numerous environmentally-related proposals during his inaugural address. Among these was a call to increase the amount of energy the state derives from renewable resources to 50 percent over the next 15 years. The governor has also proposed cuts to the amount of petroleum that is used in automobiles, with the state’s policies calling to cut this figure in half while also doubling the energy-efficiency in existing buildings. Pending legislation that has been put forth by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon has been created to establish a regulatory pass toward accomplishing the goals setup by Governor Brown. While Brown has not officially voiced his support for the proposal, he has stated that he is working with the Pro Tem to work out the details of Senate Bill 350.
In addition to the proposals that dovetail with President Obama’s climate change plan, the governor has also issued an executive order meant to reduce pollution to 40 percent lower than 1990’s levels by 2030. The plan also calls for dropping the levels by another 40 percentage points by 2050.
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(all data current as of 6/22/2017)
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