California Governor Signs Sweeping Climate Legislation

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping package of bills Friday to expand California’s reliance on clean energy and reduce carbon emissions, moves he said further establish the state as a global climate leader.

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The new laws include proposals aimed at reducing exposure to gas and oil pollution in communities of color, expanding clean energy jobs and accelerating the state’s timeline for getting most of its electricity from renewable energy sources. Newsom signed them following a record-breaking heat wave that forced California to rely more heavily on natural gas for its electricity production.

“We could talk about the way the world should be and protest it,” Newsom said while standing underneath an array of solar panels. “Or we can actually make demonstrable progress.”

State Sen. Lena Gonzalez, a Democrat, was an author of one bill aimed at protecting vulnerable communities from pollution coming from oil and gas production sites. It bans the drilling of any new oil and gas wells with 3,200 feet (975 meters) of homes, schools and other neighborhood sites and requires wells in those zones to enact stricter safety measures. Neighborhood oil drilling is prominent around Los Angeles and oil-rich parts of the Central Valley.

“The reason why we do this, first and foremost, is because some of us are parents,” said Gonzalez, who represents the southern part of Los Angeles County.

Another bill Newsom signed requires California to reach carbon neutrality by 2045, meaning it will remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as what it emits.

The state’s accelerated carbon reduction targets are a “big win for California,” Kassie Siegel, of the Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, said in a statement.

The oil industry has broadly criticized Newsom’s climate package, saying it will harm an industry that still provides many jobs throughout the state. California is the seventh-largest oil producing state.

Some environmental groups were critical as well, though for different reasons. Food and Water Watch California, a nonprofit aimed at addressing climate and water issues, opposed a bill in the package that creates a permitting system for carbon capture projects. Such efforts rely on technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere to store underground.

Critics of the technology say it’s dangerous, unproven and a means for oil companies to keep emitting.

“Carbon capture is a smokescreen for fossil fuel industry players to protect their bottom lines at the expense of our climate and communities,” Food and Water Watch California Director Chirag G. Bhakta said in a statement.

Newsom, a Democrat, also took the opportunity to swipe at Republican political leaders in Texas. He compared California’s energy production to that of Texas, another major producer, where a winter storm in February 2021 left millions without power.

“And they’re talking to us about keeping our lights on?” Newsom said of Texas.

Click here to read the full article at AP News


  1. Chris Renner says

    Instead of learning from Texas’ example, Newsome and Democrat legislators double down. Texas had an energy crisis because they tried to implement wind power and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. California is trying to accelerate reduction of fossil fuels when there is no equivalent amount of energy production coming from solar and wind.

    As for Lena Gonzalez, it’s a stupid bill since the drilling has already occurred and California has already passed innumerous regulations to prevent new oil drilling anyway.

    Of course, carbon neutrality is just an opinion by environmental activists and the Democrat party not based on any experiment or anything. The experiment that “proves” that temperatures go up with increased CO2 does not equate real world equivalences, is countered by real world data that higher temperatures actually cause greater CO2, and CO2 is actually such a tiny part of the atmosphere that it’s difficult for any reasonable person to think that the world’s calamities are all being caused by an increase of CO2 from 0.03% to 0.04% when there is evidence that thousands of years ago, the CO2 concentration was much higher and it got there without man’s help.

  2. Robert Wilson says

    Newsom is absolutely the WORST governor in the country!!!!!!

  3. The Democrap solution to problems is “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

  4. One Party Dictatorship.

    The Dem’s are experiencing massive inflation, destruction of the working poor and lower middle class economy.

    These bans mean the tax revenue from proven clean production will end.

    Carbon capture? We don’t want that because it means there is no reason to ban products. FYI So. Cal Gas has been supplying carbon neutral products for over 2 years now. Gee you mean using natural gas in your home is not increasing the carbon in the atmosphere?

  5. will be leaving this state as retirement looms for me. I can’t wait!

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