California's Brown reels in climate change plan
SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Democrats announced Wednesday that they are scaling back their ambitious proposal to address climate change amid ongoing opposition from the oil industry and some lawmakers.
Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, had pushed a far-reaching proposal to cut petroleum use by half, boost renewable-electricity use to 50 percent and double energy efficiency in existing buildings. De Leon announced that he was dropping the mandate to cut oil use from his proposal.
With just two days remaining for bills to emerge from the legislative session, an enormous lobbying campaign from oil interests could not be overcome, de Leon said. “We couldn't cut through the multibillion-dollar smoke screen created by big oil with a bottomless war chest,” he said.
The Democratic governor has made climate change the centerpiece of his final term. Brown said at a news conference that lawmakers “did not cave in” to calls to scale back state authority to set emission rules and vowed to continue pushing for the 50 percent oil reduction through the regulatory process.
“The only thing different is my zeal has been intensified to a maximum degree and nothing, nothing is going to stop this state from pushing forward” on aggressive climate change standards, he said.