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Newsom Calls for More Aggressive Climate Action at State, Federal Levels

As the year’s largest wildfire rages across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is doubling down on an aggressive strategy to combat climate change — one that also appears to involve boosting his national profile.

Newsom on Saturday declared a state of emergency In Mariposa County due to the Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park, which since igniting Friday has burned more than 17,240 acres of bone dry fuel and contains only 16% as of today, According to Cal Fire.

California obtained federal support to help cover the costs of fighting the fire, which as of Sunday was being fought by nearly 2,100 firefighters. More than 6,000 people were under evacuation ordersNearly 3,000 PG&E customers faced power outages And there were 15 buildings destroyed or damaged with thousands more threatened.

The oak fire marks the end of California’s relatively quiet start to the wildfire season: Fewer than 34,000 acres burned statewide from Jan. 1 to July 19, the lowest amount during that time period since 2009. According to an analysis by Mercury News.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Isaac Sanchez warned: “People shouldn’t be complacent. If this were a baseball game, we’re in the middle of the inning. There are many more dry months to come.”

Newsom hinted at complacency at the national level b July 24 letter To President Joe Biden, in which he blasted “uncooperative Republicans and a lone Democrat from a coal-producing state” (West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin) for holding parts of Biden’s climate agenda “hostage.”

Newsom added: “We want to reiterate our commitment … to find new ways to bypass those senators who have chosen to keep their heads in the sand instead of confronting the crisis we all face together. Partnership with California and other leading states and cities is essential now.”

As proof of what Newsom described as California’s world-leading climate action, he cited a plan — released just a day earlier — to make the state’s ambitious climate plans even more aggressive.

B July 22 letter To Leanne Randolph, who leads California’s powerful Air Resources Board, Newsom outlined goals he said would add teeth to the state. Comprehensive climate strategy, which regulators are expected to consider formally adopting this fall. in so doing, He seems to agree with activists who said the show wasn’t going far enough or fast enough In California transition away from fossil fuels. However, some of the strategies Newsome proposed, Like carbon captureUnlikely to be adopted by many environmentalists.

In the letter, Newsom instructs state agencies to develop energy transition plans that do not involve new natural gas plants, adopt a goal for the aviation industry to use more clean fuel, and plans to accelerate the development of offshore wind, among other things.

The push comes shortly after Newsom signed a controversial law Clears the way for the country to use more fossil fuels in the short term while accelerating the long-term development of clean energy projects. To help the country maintain reliable energy, California is also considering extending the life of its last nuclear power plant.

On Sunday, Newsom and the California Teachers Union parted ways California Democratic Party In announcing their opposition to proposal 30, Ballot initiative from November Funded largely by Lyft that would tax people making more than $2 million to fund a collection of climate programs, including incentives for people to buy zero-emissions vehicles. (By the way, state law requires Lyft and Uber drivers Record 90% of the kilometers in California in electric vehicles until 2030.)

“Support .30 is a special case — a cynical scheme devised by a single corporation to divert state income tax revenue to their company,” Newsom said. “Californians should know that just this year our state committed $10 billion to electric vehicles and their infrastructure.”

Environmental voters in California, one of the supporters of the measure, Tweet the news: “CA needs a leader who will stand up for middle- and low-income communities facing the climate crisis instead of protecting billionaires, the CA Republican Party, and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.”

Newsom Calls for More Aggressive Climate Action at State, Federal Levels Source link Newsom Calls for More Aggressive Climate Action at State, Federal Levels

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