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New California environmental bills have challenging goals

It is of course indisputable that every reasonable person in California -- from every walk of life, from both sides of the political aisle and from at-all-costs environmentalists to ardent business supporters -- wants clean air and water, coupled with enduring and sustainable natural resources.

Unsurprisingly, though, there is less than clear unanimity on how to achieve lofty environmental goals, and multiple questions marks surrounding the identities of individuals and entities tasked with bearing the brunt of paying for environmentally friendly policies.

A non-stop debate in California over many years has centrally featured a "we all want it, but who's going to pay for it?" component, which once again took center stage following actions taken by Gov. Jerry Brown last week in Los Angeles.

The governor inked two new pieces of legislation that build on earlier climate-based law, with an impetus now being on cutting carbon emissions by a full 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.

Many commentators note the inherent challenges of such an ambitious target. One media focus on the bills notes that "many of the easy solutions have [already] been employed."

Which means that new tools, processes and technologies to further curb pollution will likely cost many California businesses an appreciable -- and progressively escalating -- amount of money.

Many business groups have both noted and lamented that probability. The newly aspired-to greenhouse gas caps could breed draconian consequences, noted the California Chamber of Commerce in the wake of statements made by Brown. The new law, the commerce stated, doesn't require regulatory agencies "to give any consideration" to adverse economic effects on state business actors and residents.

Environmental law concerns and initiatives have spelled top-shelf subject matter in California for decades, with an inherent tension often existing between those pushing reforms and those who foot most of the bill for their implementation.

State businesses are intimately affected in broad-based ways by environmental legislation, in matters ranging from compliance to remediation. Questions or concerns regarding any aspect of environmental law can be addressed to a proven California environmental law firm that routinely provides guidance and legal representation for businesses and property owners.

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