Gov. Jerry Brown Touts California's Success at U.N. Climate Summit

Leonardo DiCaprio may have received top billing, but Jerry Brown spoke as well on the actions of the Golden State to combat climate change under his watch. Two days earlier, he signed six bills to increase sales of electric vehicles.
September 26, 2014, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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World leaders convened in New York to attend the U.N. Climate Summit on September 23. Among the speakers was Governor Jerry Brown, whose "remarks were the highest-profile yet in his effort to promote California climate policies on an international stage," writes David Siders of the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said California will meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and within six months will set a new goal for 2030 “that will be more ambitious, that will require more technology and will also require heightened political will.”

Just two days earlier, the governor in Sacramento "signed six bills he said will 'strengthen California’s best-in-the-nation electric vehicle market' and help the state reach its goal of getting 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the road by 2025," writes Marisa Lagos of the San Francisco Chronicle. The ambitious goal is one he set in March, 2012 as an executive order

Four of the the half-dozen new laws are focused around expanding clean air vehicle access to carpool lanes, including toll lanes.

Last year at this time, we wrote about six bills Brown had signed to make the state greener from an auto perspective. 

A new touch this year are bills "designed to make electric cars more affordable for low-income residents," writes Jennifer Medina of The New York Times. One bill, SB 1275 was described here earlier.

Another bill, AB 2565, will allow for renters to work with their landlords to install charging stations for electric vehicles. It "require(s) a lessor of a dwelling to approve a written request of a lessee to install an electric vehicle charging station at a parking space allotted for the lessee." See the bill language for exceptions.

All six bills can be seen on the governor's bill-signing webpage.

At the summit, Brown promoted the most controversial piece of his administration's climate mitigation agenda. "Oil industry groups in California have pressured Brown this year to delay an expansion of the state’s cap-and-trade program to vehicle fuels in January, with Republicans and some Democrats joining in the lobbying," writes Siders.

“Now the great challenge is to stay the course,” Brown said. “Even today as we speak, there are advertisements being purchased on the airwaves of California in an attempt to persuade the people that cap-and-trade should somehow go away, that it’s going to raise the price of oil.”

However, oil analysts don't see it that way, writes Marc Lifsher of the Los Angeles Times. Turns out that market forces may make the "hidden gas tax" truly hidden, as is no price increase, though California motorists may not see the gas price decreases that may surface in other states.

Drivers probably won't notice the global-warming-related increase because average gas prices are the lowest they've been since fall 2010, said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for GasBuddy.com. What's more, he said, average prices in Los Angeles, which were at $3.76 per gallon of regular last week, are expected to fall an additional 15 to 20 cents in the next 100 days.

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Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 in Sacramento Bee
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