California Governor Touts State Emissions Regulations

Date: August 04, 2015

Gov. Brown Says State’s Legislation Tougher Than New Obama Plan

On Monday President Obama announced a new plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the plan, CBS Evening News reported, power plants will be required to “cut emissions 32 percent, and 28 percent of the electricity in the country must come from sources such as wind and solar.” This is the first time the Federal government is moving to restrict power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions, and the nation’s “1,000 US power stations fueled by coal” are expected to “face major changes.”

Despite media reports from the New York Times, which calls the plan “aggressive,” and the Christian Science Monitor, which describes the regulations as a “doubling down on climate,” others disagreed with such an assessment. Most notably, California Governor Jerry Brown praised the Obama Administration’s new proposal, but “said the order would not affect California because current environmental policies have put the state on track to exceed the new federal targets,” according to the Sacramento (CA) Business Journal. Brown said in a statement, “We look forward to working with other states and the White House as we implement these new mandates.” Earlier this year the governor put forth an executive order mandating that pollution be cut to 40% under 1990 levels by 2030, and another 40% by 2050. There is current legislation by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) that would “set a regulatory path to accomplish those goals” if approved. Brown has said he is working with Leon to “hammer out the details” of that legislation.

What This Means For Small Businesses

Being a small business owner in California is becoming increasingly costly. News that California officials believe climate change legislation passed earlier this year is tougher than new Federal legislation serves as the latest troubling reminder that California is becoming an even costlier place to do business. Small business owners will soon be faced with added expenses from energy efficiency upgrades to offices or the use of renewable energy sources, and the Federal push on this issue means that pressure to reduce emissions is unlikely to decrease in the near future.

Additional Reading

NFIB previously noted California’s passage of climate change legislation earlier this year. The Los Angeles Times and the Riverside (CA) Press Enterprise are among the additional outlets covering reaction by California officials to Monday’s Federal proposal.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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