Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a climate change bill into law that left a bittersweet taste for all Californians. The measure is without a doubt a landmark since it seeks to reduce the state’s greenhouse emissions by increasing the use of energy from renewable sources.
According to the new law, the year 2030 will see half of California’s energy provided by solar, wind and geothermal sources. This means that the state’s renewable energy requirements are now the third highest in the U.S, behind Hawaii and Vermont. But wait. What seems like amazing news that should be celebrated in the streets hides a not-so-great story behind it.
The original bill also included a goal to limit the amount of petroleum used on California by half by 2030. In a state where 40 percent of the greenhouses gases are released by transportation fuel, the goal was hugely important. But of course, such ambition met fierce opposition from oil companies, which launched an extensive lobbying campaign to stop the bill. And though they couldn’t prevent the bill from becoming law, they also got a crucial victory – the oil reduction was cut from the bill.
The cut is more than just disappointing – it’s actually scary, as it shows the overwhelming lobbying power of the oil industry that can force legislation in its favor with its millions of dollars. Besides, it evidences how money can put huge barriers to campaigns and growing movements for Climate Justice.
However, and in spite of the bad news about this cut, we believe that this kind of bills should be celebrated. They constitute signs of a change for the better and a transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources that can be slowed down but can’t be stopped.
Are you doing your part in building a better future? You can start a change for better in your home and help the law’s goal in becoming a reality!
Posted October 07, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.