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newsrel -- Earth Day 2017: California committed to continuing to fight climate change, protect public health and the environment

Posted: 21 Apr 2017 09:08:44
Please consider the following news release from the California
Air Resources Board:


SACRAMENTO- The 47th annual Earth Day finds California on the
frontline of efforts to clean the air and curb the effects of
climate change, even as federal regulators retreat from their own
responsibilities. For 50 years, the California Air Resources
Board (CARB) has worked to break new ground in protecting public
health and the environment.

Under Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., California has established
the most aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets in North
America, and the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive
super pollutants. The Governor also signed legislation that
directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs
that benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean
transportation and protect natural ecosystems. As part of these
efforts, he has directed CARB to push into new areas of
environmental improvement. 

CARB’s recent actions include: 

Moving Forward with Advanced Clean Cars

Last month, CARB voted to continue with the vehicle greenhouse
gas emission standards and zero-emission vehicle program for cars
and light trucks sold in California through 2025. The action
ensures that California and 12 other states that follow its
vehicle regulations, together accounting for a third of the U.S.
auto market, will move forward on standards that will deliver
cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars, saving consumers money and
cutting greenhouse gases. 

Expanding Market for Zero-Emission Vehicles 

The Board also voted to support the expansion of the
zero-emission vehicle marketplace before 2025, paving the way for
new regulations to rapidly increase the number of zero-emission
vehicles to be sold in California after 2025. Governor Brown has
called for 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roads
by 2025. There are currently 280,000 zero-emission vehicles in
California, more than half the national total, even though
California is only 10 percent of the nation’s population.

Fighting Climate Super Pollutants 

ARB also adopted a new plan to curb destructive super pollutants,
including methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons. These
emissions accelerate the impact of global warming far beyond the
effect of CO2, the main greenhouse gas. Reducing these pollutants
can have a more immediate beneficial impact on climate change –
and reduces harmful toxins, such as cancer-causing particulates,
in California communities.

Nation’s Toughest Rule for Curbing Methane Leaks 

Last month, CARB approved a new regulation aimed at curbing
emissions of methane that regularly escapes from oil and gas
operations, the most comprehensive rule of its kind in the
country. The new regulation is expected to reduce methane leaks
in California by the equivalent of 1.4 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars
off the road for a year. 

Developing California’s Climate Action Plan 2030

CARB is working with the public, stakeholders and other state
agencies to develop a Scoping Plan that sets the course for
California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below
1990 levels by 2030, the most ambitious goal in North America.
The plan builds on the state’s successful efforts to reduce
emissions and outlines the most effective ways to reach the 2030
goal, including continuing California’s cap-and-trade Program.
CARB will consider the plan at the end of June.  

Investing Cap-and-Trade Proceeds in Disadvantaged Communities 

Investments from California’s cap-and-trade program are reducing
greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening local economies and
improving public health and the environment. To date, $3.4
billion has been appropriated by the Legislature, and $1.2
billion has been distributed to projects that are completed or
under way. Projects range from installing solar panels on
low-income homes, to building affordable housing close to
transportation corridors. Investments are spread over 57 of
California’s 58 counties, and fifty percent of the $1.2 billion
in implemented projects ($614 million) is providing benefits to
disadvantaged communities. 

Transforming California’s Freight System

In July, state agency leaders released the California Sustainable
Freight Action Plan, a comprehensive document that serves as a
blueprint for transforming the state’s multi-billion dollar
freight transport system into one that is environmentally
cleaner, more efficient, and more economically competitive than
it is today.

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