Trump Declares War On The Environment, California Response Is PERFECT
Within minutes of Donald Trump’s swear in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th, the Trump administration edited its White House website, deleting any mention of climate change, renewable energy, or emissions goals. And today, Trump is set to sign two executive orders to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, California went in a different direction, releasing its plan to cut carbon emissions 40 percent over 1990 levels by 2030 — the most ambitious goal, to date, in North America.
The plan shows California is serious about moving forward with strong climate action, even in the face of a climate-change denying administration.
“Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, said in a statement.
“The plan will help us meet both our climate and our clean air goals in the coming decades and provide billions of dollars in investments to cut greenhouse gases, smog and toxic pollution in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. It is also designed to continue to drive creative innovation, generating good new jobs in the growing clean technology sector.”
According to the plan, California hopes to achieve deep carbon emissions reductions through a few different strategies: adding 4.2 million zero-emissions vehicles to the road, strengthening the state’s vehicle emissions standards, and reducing greenhouse gases 20 percent from the state’s refinery sector.
California already has the most electric vehicle options in the country, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a trend that will likely continue under this new plan. Cities like Los Angeles are already pushing the state towards deploying more and more electric vehicles — all new non-patrol police cars purchased in the city of Los Angeles last year were electric vehicles, a move that cut emissions and helped the city save 60 percent on vehicle maintenance.
As Think Progress reports, California’s ambitious plan stands in stark contrast to the dangerous federal climate policy under a Trump administration. President Trump rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, calling it a “hoax” created by the Chinese. He has also promised to significantly roll back environmental regulations, and his administration motioned towards weakening auto emissions standards.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has been a vocal critic of Trump’s policies, including his stance on climate change. In a speech in December, Brown pledged to continue California’s environmental progress, even if Trump chooses to cut funding for federal climate programs or climate research.
“We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight,” Brown said at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. “Whatever Washington thinks they are doing, California is the future.”
H/T: Think Progress.