In a blow that strikes at the heart of Gov. Jerry Brown's climate change agenda, Senate Leader Kevin de León is removing a key provision in his bill to set new greenhouse gas reduction mandates.
”With two days left, we could not cut through the multi-million dollar smokescreen” of the oil industry, De León said at a Capitol news conference with the governor and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.
”Oil has won the skirmish but they’ve lost the bigger battle, because I am more determined than ever to make our regulatory regime work for the people of California,” Brown said.
In his inaugural address in January, the governor called for a 50 percent reduction in vehicle petroleum use by 2030. De León is removing that provision from the bill because of insufficient support in the Assembly. The oil industry and business groups have been fiercely opposing that provision.
The rest of SB 350 would remain intact, including a mandate to raise the energy California uses from renewable sources from a third to a half by 2030. The state's major utilities dropped their opposition to that requirement in recent days after reaching a deal with De León.
In a statement the Western States Petroleum Association says the change is an acknowledgement that the state’s energy future, economic competitiveness and environment are inextricable linked.
Legislative leaders also say it’s unlikely a deal on road repairs will be reach before the regular session ends this week.