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California has announced a very ambitious plan to reduce pollution by 10 percent from current levels by 2020. If we take the forecasted population increase into account, that means that the state intends to reduce annual emissions to 10 tons of CO2 per person in 2020 from 14 tons per person currently.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will present a set of proposals, which could become law in 2012, to help reach this target. The proposals include the creation of a cap-and-trade program on CO2 emissions that will require buildings and appliances to use less energy, requesting oil companies to provide cleaner fuels, and forcing utilities to provide a third of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power. The laws would also have an effect on how Californians live, since the program will encourage development of walkable cities with shorter commutes and high-speed rail as an alternative to air travel (something our readers have been commenting about a lot recently).

It's no surprise that such an ambitious plan calls for more hybrid and hydrogen-fueled vehicles on the road to move both goods and people. I'd also like to see references to plug-in hybrids and EVs in that wish list, as well.

The program is going to cost money, although a full amount hasn't been calculated. It's expected that the CARB rules could push the state's economy up one percent through the creation of the new "green jobs."

[Source: Automotive News (subs. req'd)]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't know where you get your figures, but California already uses no California coal generated electricity. It may still have some antique standby plants that are seldom available, though.

      California doesn't care how dirty the electricity it imports, is generated though.

      Nor is it allowing the building of any nuclear or coal plants, and has had that effective moratorium position for ten years or more.

      This is nothing but another bureaucratic stupid job expansion proposal. It exists to provide sinecures for CARB bureaucrats. The self-same CARBites, who have not finished the job that they were charted to do.

      But is so mundane and passe` to actually clean the air of toxic pollutants, like SOx, NOx, HVOCs, PM 10 and PM2.5.

      California is not trendy anymore, in cleaning its air of these genuine toxic pollutants. Every other state in the Union has measurably better air, now.

      The federal standards with a slower implementation schedule, have caught up, and now meet and in some significant cases exceed, the California standards.

      What a great job they are doing, living off their once leading edge contributions, as they regulate the dirtiest air in all 50 states.

      California is falling behind. It can only generate between 80-90% of its electricity today, due to the stupid policies of the California greens and their elected fools.

      If it were not for imported power from Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and even third world Mexico, California would suffer daily blackouts and brownouts.

      Unlike normal exporters, the other State regulated Utilities can ONLY legally export surplus electricity,regaerdless of prioce. California's stupid policies are now drawing down reserve margins in all these states.

      Overnight, as soon as ONE single state regulatory commission, says no more exports to California, to protect its own citizens needs, a cascade of similar injunctions will follow. An immediate California crissi will ensue. Since no single state can pick up the missing load for California, that gets larger and larger every year.

      Have you forgotten the Gray Davis fiasco, started by an electricity generation deficit? California's position is ten times worse today.

      Regarding the requirement of 20% renewables, where somehow hydro has been defined as not a renewable. Apparently rain no longer falls, and runs off into rivers and hydro reservoirs. There are stranded wind and solar plants built today, that can't get their power from the California deserts to the coastal users.

      The NIMBY and eco-crazies, have just killed another project to build transmission lines to bring in the renewable wind and solar power. As they say, the transmission lines are unsightly; and they have re-dredged up bogus claims that electric high tension lines are inimical to the biota.

      Already California's electricity brownouts are driving companies out of the State. California regulators are forcing companies to have to reduce load as soon as a brownout, now almost daily event, is imminent. California has already achieved the electricity reliability of a Third World country for its industrial customers.

      The chickens are coming home to roost on the eco-crazies and the California voters who elect these know-nothings.

      There is gathering scientific critiques of the supposed certainties of AGW. The current decade of cooling, was never predicted,and undermines their certainties.

      Finally, the expanded atmospheric theory by Dr. Ferenc Mikolczi is now providing the theoretical foundation to question all GHG based AGW.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Finally! I guess CA had been stalled by Bush's asinine EPA rulings against CA's desire to regulate CO2. I've been waiting for this kind of action from our state.

      And, yes, this is fantastic news for the rest of the nation. Once again California will lead with innovation and critical policies, and the rest of the nation will learn from our experiences.

      Redirecting state resources towards upgrades of our energy sources, including I hope consumer incentives for energy efficiency and maybe more solar, will be great for California residents.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am down for that plan. Specially the high speed train.

      Everyone else that commented against this article. I think you are cheap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The California power mix is 45% natural gas, 17% hydro, 15% nuclear, 12% coal, and 9% non-hydro renewables.

      Let's assume they phase out the coal plants over time. Their two nuclear plants, Diablo Canyon and San Onofre, will have their licenses expire. The interest groups will no doubt lobby to shut them down. Fresno wants to build a nuclear power plant, but the state prevents them.

      Meanwhile, everyone starts buying electric cars and charging them at night. What will pick up the base load when the price of natural gas skyrockets even worse than it already is and California balks at importing even more of it?

      Rolling blackouts with screams to "change your lifestyle!". What lifestyle? My TV, oven and computer working when I want it to?

      California will need to make some very hard decisions in the coming years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This plan is going to cost serious money to implement. Where are the funds coming from?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is fantastic news for the rest of the nation! Imagine all the jobs that will flee California for less expensive states. With the price of electricity all data center and call centers will flee. Most auto body shops will move to Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. I'm glad I left when I did.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's not just cost - natural gas gets piped from a long way away, so is very vulnerable to domestic terrorism.

      And if there is another 1980s-style shortage of natural gas, keep in mind priority goes to heating residences, not running gas turbines.

      California residents reading this should take advantage of their state's generous credits for photovoltaic installations, making sure that their inverter can "island" and that they add battery storage as well.