California’s Bold Plan To Curb Gas Use

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Environmental leader California says no to an ambitious goal: to cut gasoline use in half by 2030. We look at the implications for California and the world.

A woman fills her car at a Costco gas station in Robinson Township, Pa., Thursday, July 16, 2015.  (AP)
A woman fills her car at a Costco gas station in Robinson Township, Pa., Thursday, July 16, 2015. (AP)

California is not just a national leader in measures to fight climate change. It’s a world leader. And yesterday, California blinked. Current Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown and former Gov. Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger have both championed an 80 percent cut in CO2 emissions. One key to that has been a whopping 50 percent cut in gas and diesel use in the next fifteen years. That’s a reach, but it may be what it takes. Yesterday, that cut got killed. Democrats helped kill it.This hour On Point: a dramatic step to take on global warming, denied in California – and what that means for us all.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Chris Megerian,  state government reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@ChrisMegerian)

Nathan Lewis, scientific director of the Department of Energy's Innovation Hub at the California Institute of Technology, where he is also a professor of chemistry.

Severin Borenstein, professor of business administration and public policy at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, where he is also a research associate at the Energy Institute. (@BorensteinS)

Jeremy Carl, research fellow at the Hoover Institute and director of research for the Schultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy. (@jeremycarl4)

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: What's the deal with California's controversial climate change bill? — "When Gov. Jerry Brown started his fourth and final term in January, he laid out three ambitious environmental goals for the next 15 years. First, double the energy efficiency of older buildings. Second, require half of California's electricity to come from renewable sources. And third, slash petroleum use on state roads by half. Those three targets — particularly the gasoline proposal — are contained in a bill that is the subject of intense debate in the Capitol. Lawmakers have until Friday night to decide what to do."

Sacramento Bee: What’s at stake in California’s climate bill? -- "In a barrage of advertising, oil companies have focused criticism on the broad authority that Senate Bill 350 would give the ARB to implement petroleum reductions. The legislation does not detail what the ARB will do. But to hear the oil companies tell it, the most likely scenario is that the ARB will siphon gas from your tank while making you and your five kids – at least one of whom is in diapers – push your minivan home."
NPR News: California Considers Sweeping Proposals To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions -- " Some of the world's most ambitious climate change legislation is currently under consideration in America. But the lawmakers in question aren't in D.C. — they're in Sacramento. California lawmakers are intensely debating far-reaching goals to curb greenhouse gas emissions."

This program aired on September 10, 2015.


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