California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a series of climate and clean air bills. Meanwhile, another Democratic senator is joining the opposition to putting Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) permitting reform measures in a stopgap funding push.
This is Overnight Energy & Environment, your source for the latest news focused on energy, the environment and beyond. For The Hill, I’m Rachel Frazin. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Newsom signs more than 40 climate bills
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a sweeping package of climate legislation into law on Friday, aiming to accelerate the Golden State’s transition to clean energy.
Among the long list of initiatives to receive gubernatorial approval were measures to cut air pollution by 60 percent and reduce state oil consumption by 91 percent over the next two decades, according to the governor’s office.
Within the same time frame, the bills intend to save California $23 billion by avoiding damages caused by pollution, reduce fossil fuel use in buildings and transportation by 92 percent and slash refinery pollution by 94 percent.
“We could talk about the way the world should be and protest it, or we can actually make demonstrable progress — and we took the latter approach here,” Newsom said at a press conference Friday morning on Mare Island, in Solano County northeast of San Francisco.
“As a consequence of doing so, there’s no other jurisdiction in the world — think about that — that’s doing what the state of California is doing,” the governor added.
Newsom signed the slate of bills alongside the politicians who authored them in front of the U.S. Forest Service’s Regional Office, which is powered by clean energy and provides electricity to the grid.
The advancement of the bills constitutes “an essential piece” of the governor’s California Climate Commitment — a $54 billion action plan that aims to create
4 million jobs, according to Newsom’s office.
The governor described this step as “the most aggressive action on climate our nation has ever seen,” in a statement released ahead of the signing.
SIX SPECIFIC STANDOUTS
Among the bills Newsom signed into law on Friday — six of more than 40 in a broad climate package — was S.B. 1020, which focuses on creating a clean electricity grid.
S.B. 1020 will require 90 percent of California’s electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2035 and 95 percent by 2040 — interim targets toward a 100 percent goal for 2045.
In addition, all electricity procured for state agencies will need to come from clean energy by 2035, according to the bill.
Another key piece of legislation to become law was S.B. 1137, which will prohibit oil drilling within 3,200 feet of places where residents live, work and learn. The bill also ensures that comprehensive pollution controls are in place for existing oil wells already situated within 3,200 feet of such facilities.
A bill focusing on carbon neutrality, A.B. 1279, establishes “a clear, legally binding and achievable goal” that urges carbon neutrality as soon as possible, but no later than 2045, according to the governor’s office.
A.B. 1279 also sets an 85 percent emissions reduction target for that year and a
40 percent reduction target for 2030, in comparison to 1990 levels.
S.B. 905 and S.B. 1314 are centered on the development of carbon capture and removal technologies, which aim to take carbon dioxide generated by power plants out of the atmosphere and store it permanently.
The bills establish a regulatory framework for the advancement of these emerging technologies, while also banning the injection of carbon dioxide into wells — a practice that enhances oil recovery.
A.B. 1757 focuses on nature, by requiring the state to develop an achievable carbon removal target for natural and working lands, according to the governor’s office.
Read more about Newsom’s action here, from The Hill’s Sharon Udasin.
Markey joins push against including permitting in bill
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is joining a group of liberal House members in opposing Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) push to pass changes to the environmental review process in a stopgap funding bill.
Markey became the second Democratic-caucusing senator to call for the issues to be separated. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has previously expressed opposition to the West Virginia senator’s reforms.
Democratic leadership promised Manchin they would pass changes to the country’s permitting system to expedite the approval of both fossil and renewable energy projects in exchange for his vote on their climate, tax and health care bill.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said he would include such changes in a temporary funding measure that would prevent a government shutdown.
The new news: But Markey said in a written statement on Friday that the two should not be tied, citing concerns about possible impacts on communities that are already overburdened by pollution.
“As a way forward is discussed, and especially as new anti-environment proposals are being brought to the permitting discussions, we should not attach the permitting overhaul package to the must-pass government funding legislation,” the senator said
However, Markey also acknowledged the importance of the deal with Manchin and said he would speak with colleagues about “whether this package can reflect the values of environmental justice.”
The background: Any funding measure, with or without permitting reforms, would require 60 votes to pass the Senate. If both Markey and Sanders are not on board, at least 12 Republicans will have to vote with the rest of the Democrats to get it across the finish line.
Republicans have long-sought changes similar to those that Manchin is pushing, but some have said that his changes may not go far enough, and that they don’t want to reward him for going along with Democrats’ climate and tax bill.
On the House side, a lot of the opposition has come from Democrats, with nearly 80 of them opposing the idea of tying the funding measure to the permitting changes.
ON TAP NEXT WEEK
The House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on a bill that would require energy exploration on public land and waters align with the country’s climate goals
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on responding to a changing Arctic
The House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on conservation programs in the farm bill
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on whether to advance several Biden nominations, including the long-awaited vote on whether to advance Joe Goffman to lead the EPA’s Air and Radiation office
The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on water infrastructure
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on the bipartisan infrastructure law
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s National Parks subcommittee will hold a hearing on pending legislation
The House Natural Resources Committee will mark up fisheries legislation
WHAT WE’RE READING
Patagonia Billionaire Who Gave Up Company Skirts $700 Million Tax Hit (Bloomberg)
Across the Midwest, Counties Are Building New Jails on Toxic Land (Capital B)
Louisiana officials approve flood funds stalled over abortion (E&E News)
California unveils mandate to phase out diesel trucks (CalMatters)
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Energy & Environment page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.