California Lawmakers Advance Lofty Climate Change Targets

California State Capitol
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California lawmakers are pushing through an ambitious climate change package to further reduce the state’s carbon footprint and boost the use of renewable energy to 50 percent in 15 years.

The state Senate on Wednesday began passing proposals to enact Gov. Jerry Brown’s call to curb greenhouse gas emissions by setting what the administration calls the most aggressive benchmark in North America.

Republicans characterized such regulation as coastal elitism that would kill working-class jobs. They said there is inadequate oversight of the rule-setting process.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, said California aims to boost statewide renewable electricity use to 50 percent, have drivers use half as much gasoline and make buildings twice as efficient.

The first bill, SB350, advanced to the Assembly on a 24-14 vote.

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