California governor spars with oil industry over climate bill

California governor spars with oil industry over climate bill
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The oil industry is selling a “highly destructive” product, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said this week as he pushes a bill to cut the state’s oil consumption. 

Oil companies “have a product that is highly destructive, while highly valuable at the same time,” Brown told reporters on Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports. "And we're trying to work out the right policies."


Brown and his allies in the state Legislature are working to pass a bill that would cut the state’s oil consumption in half by 2030. 

The state Senate has already passed the bill, and members of the Assembly are considering it during a session set to end next month. 

Oil and gas interests have said the measure would hurt drivers, businesses and the state’s petroleum industry. In April, when a Senate committee held a hearing on the bill, the California Chamber of Commerce warned it would “compromise the availability of transportation fuels,” raising concerns about supply problems for the state’s drivers. 

The bill's supporters dispute the claim, and Brown accused the industry of “making up things” about the measure. 

“I have no intention of backing down,” the governor said Monday. “We’re going to intensify our effort to do lower-carbon fuels and lower-carbon pollution, now and into the future.”

Brown has proposed some of the most stringent environmental standards in the country, signing an executive order in April calling for a 40 percent cut to the state’s emissions from 1990 levels by 2030.

President Obama hailed the effort during a speech on climate change and energy policy on Monday night. 

“The private sector is increasingly all in. Cities and states are increasingly doing their part,” Obama said at a green energy summit in Las Vegas. “Leaders in California are aiming to generate 50 percent of their electricity from renewables by 2030 — 50 percent — while cutting carbon pollution from oil by 50 percent.”