Jerry Brown: ‘Take Fossil Fuels out of Our Lives’

California Gov. Jerry Brown addressed a public hearing on Thursday in Sacramento and made clear he will continue his war on fossil fuels.

Brown stirred the roiling pot vigorously as he attacked reliance on fossil fuels, stating, “The effects over time will be catastrophic … We’re going to reduce and take fossil fuels out of our lives and out of the economy,” according to KCRA. The Los Angeles Times quoted Brown saying, “Fossil fuel got you here. You are dependent on fossil fuel.”

Brown also acknowledged that cutting down emissions from drivers was beyond his ken, adding, “How the hell we do that, probably nobody knows. But the people who have the best understanding and the best capability to do things [are] right here. Right here in California.” Yet he also told KCRA, “You have to have more efficient cars, low carbon fuel. You got to deal with forests and the capture of carbon.”

In late April, Brown issued an executive order to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030–an order designed to jumpstart compliance with a 2006 environmental law signed by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger requiring an 80% cut by 2050 compared with 1990.

In September, the state legislature passed a bill that would require the state to obtain 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, but rejected a requirement to cut petroleum use by 50%.

On Thursday night, Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd issued a statement in response to Brown’s call for less dependence on fossil fuels. She asserted, “Our state’s long-term energy planning must recognize that fossil fuels will continue to play a major role today and for the foreseeable future, Industry has already taken incredible strides to improve and innovate fuels. Due to years of hard work and substantial private investment, California’s businesses and motorists consume the cleanest gasoline and diesel in the world.”


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