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Senate Bill 32 Sets Aggressive New Goal for California Emission Levels

JackSawyer MA, United States 0 Ratings 23 Discussions 0 Group posts

Posted by: JackSawyer // Student

California is leading the nation in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and has done so through aggressive climate bills. This effective methodology looks to continue as California recently passed Senate Bill 32 (SB32), the bill requires the state to lower greenhouse-gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The bill builds off a previous bill, AB 32, that required the state to reduce greenhouse-gas levels to 1990 levels by 2020. The state is reportedly on track to meet this goal but now, with the new goal, must find away to cut another 40 percent of emissions away in 15 years.

While aiming to achieve 1990 emission levels by 2020, California passed aggressive policies to make the largest culprits of greenhouse gases cut down. For example, in the auto industry the state now require "six high-volume carmakers to sell zero-emission vehicles, and that program will expand to cover more auto companies and start to escalate the required numbers in 2018. It has also mandated that utilities must produce 50 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2030" (Edelstein).

So if California have already created these initiatives to reach their previous goal, what more can/must they do in order to reach Senate Bill 32's goal?

Analyst's have suggested that the state could increase the percentage of electricity produced by renewable source's to above 50%. Furthermore, the state could expand its policy on electric vehicles to include other vehicles like trucks and buses. These are a couple of ideas that could bring the state closer to achieving it's new goal. However, these ideas, especially the policy on electric vehicles, requires that the general public take initiative too, they must increase the adoption of electric vehicles and if people on average hold onto a car for 71 months, it may not be a quick enough adoption to help the state reach it's goal.

I believe California could improve it's grid infrastructure in order to maximize it's utilization of renewable power. With the direction the state is heading, it seems like it would make sense to do this at some point or another, why not now? As California's dependency on renewable energy increases, it will only become more complicated and convoluted to fully utilize renewable power on the grid. This would also be a good time to start because the state currently has issues with excess solar power during peek conditions and has struggled to transport and find uses for it. If California can update their infrastructure to better suit renewable sources of energy, we could see it become more reliable and easier to access. In turn, this could bring the state closer to achieving its goal. This would obviously cost a lot of money, but if they were to start now and perhaps gradually implement updates to the infrastructure over the next 15 years, the state could disburse the costs across a period of time, instead of all at once when they encounter a serious problem with 20th century grid technology.

What do you think about Senate Bill 32? Is it too aggressive? Will California meet the new goal set?

Edelstein, Stephen. "Landmark CA Climate Bill Could Have Wide Effects on Cars, Energy." Green Car Reports. N.p., 31 Aug. 2016. Web. 01 Sept. 2016. <http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1105871_landmark-ca-climate-bill-could-have-wide-effects-on-cars-energy>.

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