SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 11:52 AM — LOS ANGELES
Gov. Jerry Brown extended the nation’s most ambitious climate change law Thursday by another 10 years as California charts a new goal to reduce carbon pollution.
The Democratic governor signed the legislation in a Los Angeles park amid opposition from the oil industry, business groups and Republicans. It expands on California’s landmark 2006 law, which set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
The state is poised to meet or exceed that benchmark, with steps including restricting the carbon content of gasoline and diesel fuel, encouraging sales of zero-emission vehicles and imposing a tax on pollution, Brown said.
The new law goes further, aiming to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, which the governor called the most aggressive target enacted by any government in North America. Brown, who has traveled the world promoting greenhouse-gas reduction efforts, issued an executive order last year setting those goals.
“It wasn’t too many years ago that our electric utilities said they could not get to 20 percent renewable electricity,” Brown told a meeting hosted by the California Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s power grid. “Well, this month it’s been over 26 percent. They said they couldn’t get there by 2020. Now, they’re all saying — all the major privately owned utilities — they can get to 50 percent by 2030.”
Associated Press writers Don Thompson and Juliet Williams in Sacramento contributed to this report.
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