Author: Paul

California’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions hasn’t been as effective as it could be

California’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions hasn’t been as effective as it could be


A single, devastating California fire season wiped out years of efforts to cut emissions from power plants. Now, as it turns out, California’s efforts to curb emissions from cars aren’t working either.

“We need to stop pretending that gas is the primary problem to blame for climate change,” said Tom Steyer, a billionaire and environmentalist, in an interview with Truthdig this month. “We have to get our heads out of the sand, and put the gas in the tank of the car.”

The question of climate change and the carbon dioxide it produces has become politically divisive across the country. But the debate over the role of fossil fuels in the global carbon cycle, along with the way to curb them, is at the top of California’s energy policy-making agenda. And while the state has a good shot at reducing greenhouse gas emissions — thanks to its highly renewable portfolio standard and other environmental laws — its approach to reducing them hasn’t been as effective as it could be, according to climate scientists, who recently released a draft report on the state’s climate policies.

“Some people believe that California will lead the charge to create a fossil fuel tax, carbon tax, whatever they want to call it, and that’s what the country needs,” said Steyer, noting that his research has shown that the state’s approach can have serious drawbacks. “Others believe we need to focus on renewables,” he said, noting that, in his opinion, California’s efforts to create an energy policy that has both a solar and a wind component is one that can be emulated.

Steyer, who donated more than $100 million to California election campaigns and is a big donor to Democrats, said he thinks the state’s climate policies will be improved by adopting policies that are in line with the state’s renewable energy mandate, which requires the state to produce 22 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 20

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