Ambitious climate proposals presented to Legislature


California Construction News staff writer

Calling the proposal “urgent”, Gov. Gavin Newsom presented proposals addressing climate change with the state Legislature last week.

“Cleaning the air we breathe. Protecting our communities from the harmful impacts of the oil industry. Accelerating California’s clean energy future. Each of these actions on their own are monumental steps to tackling the climate crisis – but California isn’t waiting a minute longer to get them done,” Newsom said.

“We’re taking all of these major actions now in the most aggressive push on climate this state has ever seen because later is too late.”

The plan includes:

  • Codifying statewide carbon neutrality goal to dramatically reduce climate pollution
    • Establishes a clear, legally binding, and achievable goal for California to achieve statewide carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045.
  • Ramping up the 2030 climate ambition
    • Adopts a more aggressive 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target – going from 40% to 55% below the 1990 level.
  • Protecting communities from the harmful impacts of the oil industry
    • Establishes a setback distance of 3,200 ft. between any new oil well and homes, schools, or parks.
    • Ensures comprehensive pollution controls for existing oil wells within 3,200 ft. of these facilities.
  • Establishing pathway toward state’s clean energy future
    • Creates clean electricity targets of 90% by 2035 and 95% by 2040 with the intent of advancing the state’s trajectory to the existing 100% clean electricity retail sales by 2045 goal.
  • Advancing natural and engineered technologies to remove carbon pollution
    • Establishes a clear regulatory framework for carbon removal and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration.
    • Requires the state to develop an achievable carbon removal target for natural and working lands.

The presentation came days after Newsom joined governors of New York and Washington applauding House for passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion in funding to tackle the climate crisis and secure America’s energy future.

Also last week, Newsom announced new actions to increase water supply and adapt California to more extreme weather patterns caused by climate change.

California’s Water Supply Strategy, Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future calls for investing in new sources of water supply, accelerating projects and modernizing how the state manages water through new technology.

Actions include:

  • Creating storage space for up to 4 million acre-feet of water, which will allow us to capitalize on big storms when they do occur and store water for dry periods
  • Recycling and reusing at least 800,000 acre-feet of water per year by 2030, enabling better and safer use of wastewater currently discharged to the ocean.
  • Freeing up 500,000 acre-feet of water through more efficient water use and conservation, helping make up for water lost due to climate change.
  • Making new water available for use by capturing stormwater and desalinating ocean water and salty water in groundwater basins, diversifying supplies and making the most of high flows during storm events.


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