May 3, 2015

California Governor Issues Executive Order To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) issued an executive order calling for his state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to 40 percent below their 1990 levels by 2030. (Gov. Brown’s predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, called for the state to cut GHGs to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.) 

Gov. Brown said he would take “whatever steps” necessary to meet the goal. 

Gov. Brown also urged lawmakers in Washington to take action to address climate change. He said, “If the federal government, in the legislative branch, can't get it right, then we in California are going to do our part to take care of business here.” According to the Los Angeles Times, “State lawmakers are already working on proposals to help California cut greenhouse emissions. But business interests worry that new regulations will put the state's industries at a disadvantage and increase costs.” 

The governor’s executive order calls on state agencies to develop plans to meet the targeted reduction in emissions, but does not offer specific ideas for how the state will achieve the goal. Gov. Brown’s goal is the most aggressive target undertaken by any U.S. state.