by Bonner Cohen
In response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) call to adopt more aggressive targets to combat climate change, California lawmakers are considering several approaches to force state residents to reduce fossil fuel use and increase the volume of renewable and alternative fuels used.
In his January State of the State address, Brown proposed California reduce its use of gasoline in cars by 50 percent within 15 years, make heating fuels cleaner, and substantially increase the proportion of electricity derived from renewables including wind and solar…
Although Democrats control both houses in the California legislature, it is possible none of the proposals will be adopted, says Tom Tanton, director of science and technology assessment at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute.
“The expanded initiatives may ultimately fail, due to the rift it would cause between green zealots and advocates for the poor and communities of color,” Tanton said. “By further raising the comparative cost of energy in California, for no environmental benefit, the poor will be disproportionately harmed in both health and economics. It can’t be long before advocates for the disadvantaged see that such programs are to their distinct disadvantage.”