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California climate-change legislation: termed bold, ambitious

A recent NPR article states that California "has a reputation for going one step beyond the status quo of environmental policy."

Naysayers would have a hard time refuting that statement.

After all, and as NPR notes, Golden State legislators are currently focused on a bill that suggests a trifecta of eye-popping proposals for materially reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the state.

Here's a summary breakdown of would-be laws that, if enacted, would unquestionably be noticed across the rest of the country and internationally:

  • Requirement to double energy efficiency in building across the state
  • Requirement to tap renewable resources for at least half of all electricity used in California; and
  • Mandate requiring that all vehicles operating in California reduce their use of petroleum by 50 percent or more

Those types of changes are indeed notable, especially since they are contemplated to be fully realized within 15 years. That last bullet point above has been termed "head-turning." Collectively, Gov. Jerry Brown calls the legislation "exciting" and "bold."

Will it fly?

There are critics, of course. One of them, a spokesperson for a petroleum group, calls the gas-reduction objective "a mandate to accomplish an infeasible goal, within an infeasible time." Objection to the proposal focuses principally upon the alleged lack of specific details provided to reach the goal.

Proponents for change readily -- and quickly -- step up to challenge the claims of individuals and organizations opposing such sweeping enactments. They often note the leading role played by California in suggesting and implementing climate-related reforms.

One advocate notes the upcoming climate talks that are scheduled to be held in Paris later this year. He says that the California legislation could be a centerpiece of discussions at that venue.

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