SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — With just two weeks left before lawmakers leave on recess for the rest of the year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he wants the legislature to meet his climate change goals.
It all comes less than a week after the governor spoke at the site of a future desalination plant in Contra Costa County where Newsom pledged more water storage amid the drought.
“1,200-year drought that exists and persists in the United States? I mean, let’s wake up,” Newsom said.
Now, the governor is calling on the state to fast-track a pathway to 100% clean energy, achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon neutrality, by 2045, and require a new rule implementing a 3,200 ft buffer zone between oil wells and homes, schools, and parks.
In a statement, the governor said this must be done as soon as possible, noting “later is too late.”
But not everyone is on board.
“The bulk of this package is going to increase people’s costs. Let’s do the smart things that actually lower people’s costs,” said Assemblymember James Gallagher, R-Yuba City.
State assembly minority leader Gallagher argues that, while he agrees with certain goals to use new carbon-capturing technology, he said most of what the governor has proposed will only make things more expensive.
“People are already complaining about their power bills right now. Imagine what they’re going to be if the governor’s package goes through as is,” Gallagher said.
The Western States Petroleum Association worries the governor’s agenda would result in a loss of jobs for the California oil industry.
“We’re talking tens of thousands of jobs losses. These proposals have huge impacts on everybody in the state and how we live our lives every single day,” Kevin Slagle, with the petroleum association, said.
But Democratic leaders said the time to address the changing climate is now. Among several bills going through the legislature is Assembly Bill 1384 introduced by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel of the San Fernando Valley.
His proposal would require the California Natural Resources Agency to release a climate adaptation strategy by January 2024 and every three years after that.
Gabriel, D-Woodland Hills, said it’s all about helping vulnerable communities and measuring California’s progress.
“Often in the past, we’ve talked about climate change as something that’s distant, that’s in the future, that could impact us. But we all know climate change is happening now,” Gabriel said.
In order to reach the governor’s desk, bills going through the legislature must pass both houses by the end of August.