The Latest on Legislature: Climate Bill Passes First Chamber

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SACRAMENTO (AP) —

A cheer went up in the state Assembly as lawmakers passed landmark climate change legislation sought by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Lawmakers took up SB350 late Friday, days after Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles removed a key provision that would have required California to cut oil use in half within 15 years.

The remaining bill calls for increasing renewable electricity use by 50 percent and doubling energy efficiency in existing buildings.

Republicans who were largely opposed warned that higher energy costs would disproportionately hurt poor people.

But Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, the San Diego Democrat who carried the bill, argued that greater efficiency would drive down power costs.

The bill passed on a 51-26 vote and returns to the Senate for final approval.