Energy and Environment: Newsom Signs a Comprehensive Climate Change Bill

Energy and Environment : Newsom Signs a Comprehensive Climate Change Bill

The Democratic governor of California, Gavin Newsom, recently signed a package of measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. Meanwhile, a second Democratic senator has joined the opposition to including Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) allowing reform provisions in a temporary funding push.

Whether you’re interested in energy, the environment, or both, you’ve found the right place: Overnight Energy & Environment. Rachel Frazin here for The Hill. Did you get this newsletter from a friend? Join us by submitting your email address below.

More than Forty Climate Laws Have Been Signed Into Law by Newsom

On Friday, Democratic governor Gavin Newsom signed a massive package of climate legislation into law in an effort to hasten the transition to sustainable energy in the Golden State. The governor has signed off on a long number of programs, including ones that will lower air pollution by 60% and the state’s oil usage by 91% over the next two decades.

The laws aim to save California $23 billion by preventing pollution-related damages, cutting fossil fuel consumption in buildings and vehicles by 92%, and reducing pollution from refineries by 94% within the same time frame.

We could preach about the way the world should be and protest it, or we could really make demonstrable progress — and we took the latter route here,” Newsom said at a press conference on Mare Island, in Solano County northeast of San Francisco on Friday morning. As a result, “no other jurisdiction in the world — think about it — is doing what the state of California is doing,” the governor said. In front of the regional office of the U.S. Forest Service, which runs on renewable energy and contributes to the grid, Newsom and the other legislators who authored the laws signed the package into law.

The governor’s office claims that the passage of these laws is “a vital aspect” of the California Climate Commitment, a $54 billion action plan with the goal of creating 4 million jobs. In a statement issued before the signing, the governor called this “the most aggressive action on climate our nation has ever seen.”

Standouts in Six Distinct Areas

S.B. 1020, which aims to establish a clean electrical grid, was one of six laws in a sweeping climate package that Newsom signed into law on Friday. By 2035, California’s electricity must come from clean energy sources at a minimum of 90% of the time, and by 2040, at least 95% of the time, with a final goal of 100% by 2045, as mandated by Senate Bill 1020.

In addition, the bill mandates that all electricity purchased by state agencies by 2035 must be generated from renewable sources. S.B. 1137, another important piece of legislation, was passed and signed into law as well. This measure prohibits oil drilling within 3,200 feet of residential areas, commercial areas, and educational institutions. Existing oil wells within 3,200 feet of such facilities will also be required to have comprehensive pollution controls put in place under the new legislation.

According to the governor’s office, Assembly Bill 1279 (AB 1279) provides “a clear, legally binding and feasible target” that pushes carbon neutrality as soon as practicable, but no later than 2045. The year 2030 represents a target reduction of 40 percent from 1990 levels. Both Senate Bill 905 and Senate Bill 1314 focus on research into carbon capture and removal technologies, which aim to permanently store carbon dioxide removed from the air by power plants.

The legislation prohibits the practice of injecting carbon dioxide into wells, which improves oil recovery and creates a legal framework for the development of these new technologies. According to the governor’s office, A.B. 1757 prioritizes the environment by forcing the state to create a reasonable carbon removal target for natural and working lands.

Energy and Environment: Newsom Signs a Comprehensive Climate Change Bill

Markey Joins Push Against Including Permitting in Bill

In opposition to Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) efforts to include amendments to the environmental assessment process in a stopgap funding package, Senator Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) has joined a group of liberal House members.

Markey joined Sanders as the second Democratic senator to demand that the two topics be treated separately. It’s no secret that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) isn’t a fan of the West Virginia Democrat’s legislative overhauls.

  • In exchange for Manchin’s support on their climate, tax, and health care measure, Democratic leadership promised that they would speed up the licensing of fossil and renewable energy projects by making reforms to the country’s permitting system.
  • New York Democrat and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer have promised to incorporate similar amendments in a stopgap spending bill.

But Markey said in a written statement released on Friday that the two shouldn’t be linked, citing potential repercussions on communities that are already burdened by pollution. To paraphrase the senator: “As a way forward is explored, and especially as fresh anti-environment suggestions are introduced to the permitting debates, we should not connect the permitting overhaul package to the must-pass government funding legislation.”

Related Articles:

But Markey also recognized the significance of the pact with Manchin, saying he would discuss with colleagues “whether this package can reflect the values of environmental justice.” In context, 60 votes in the Senate are needed for any financial package, with or without allowable reforms. If neither Markey nor Sanders supports the bill, then the Democrats will need the votes of at least 12 Republicans to get it passed.

  • Similar reforms to those being proposed by Manchin have been desired by Republicans for quite some time, but some conservatives have expressed concern that Manchin’s proposals don’t go far enough and have said they won’t reward him for supporting the Democrats’ tax and climate bills.
  • The majority of the opposition in the House has come from Democrats, with over 80% of them being against linking the financing package to the regulatory amendments.

For More Updates Visit Our Website  enviro360