California lawmakers on Wednesday approved their “most ambitious climate package ever,” The San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The state legislature approved a package of bills that would, among other things, require the state to go carbon-neutral by 2045, require 90% of electricity to come from clean source by 2035, restrict oil wells and regulate carbon capture technology.
The plan was championed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Newsom vowed that the bill would cement California’s role as a national leader on climate policy and ensure sustainable power supplies.
“Not only can we embrace the transition, but we can dominate in clean energy, low-carbon, green growth,” Newsom said. “Don’t think for a second that we’re going to de-escalate our commitment to that transition. Quite the contrary.”
The package includes a bill requiring the state to eliminate or capture all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85% below 1990s levels.
Another bill would require the state to produce 90% clean electricity by 2035 and 100% clean electricity by 2045.
A key piece of legislation will also ban new oil wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools and parks.
Another key provision creates regulations to permit and track carbon capture tech.
Many environmentalists cheered the package.
“Passage of this monumental bill is a tribute to the tireless frontline communities who have fought for their lives against fossil-fuel polluters for years,” said Hollin Kretzmann, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute.
But others worry that the state’s decision to keep open a nuclear power plant and carve out a role for carbon capture technology gives the energy industry a loophole to avoid cutting emissions.
“We’re just really worried that it’s going to delay any transition off of fossil fuels,” said Alexis Sutterman, energy equity program manager for the California Environmental Justice Alliance. “We’re feeling a lot of mixed feelings.”