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California's congressional Dems push for state climate bills

California's congressional Dems push for state climate bills
© Greg Nash

Democrats in the California congressional delegation are urging state lawmakers to pass two sweeping environmental bills this legislative session. 

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinVoting machine company denies Trump claims about software issues Top Latino group calls for Padilla as Harris's Senate replacement Pressure grows on California governor to name Harris replacement MORE and Barbara BoxerBarbara Levy BoxerBiden plays it cool as Trump refuses to concede The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Harris launch Trump offensive in first joint appearance Bottom line MORE sent a letter to members of the California Assembly on Wednesday urging them to pass the bills before their legislative session ends next month.

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House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS economy hurtles toward 'COVID cliff' with programs set to expire Democrats gear up for last oversight showdown with Trump Divided citizenry and government — a call to action for common ground MORE and 25 other congressional Democrats endorsed the measures on Friday, as well. 

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would codify Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) climate goals into law and another to cut the state’s oil consumption over the next 15 years.

Both bills passed the state Senate this summer, but the Assembly has yet to consider them. The bills’ boosters hope to the pass them before lawmakers adjourn on Sept. 11. 

“We're running out of time to address the climate crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement Friday.

“We need strong leadership at the state and local levels because deniers in Congress are still using snowballs to refute the overwhelming consensus of the global scientific community. I hope my friends in the California legislature can lead by example.”

Brown’s climate goal — aiming for a 40 percent reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2030 — is one of the most aggressive in the nation. He issued an executive order setting the target in April, but lawmakers hope to enshrine it in California law as well.

Democrats are also pushing a bill to increase renewable energy in the state and cut oil consumption in half by 2030.

The oil and gas industry has pushed back against the bill, warning that it would hurt drivers and businesses in California, as well as the state’s petroleum producers. But Democrats have rebuffed those concerns, and highlighted the legislation’s potential environmental impact instead. 

“These visionary bills would set ambitious goals on renewable energy, energy efficiency and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, building on the success California has already had in protecting public health and creating clean energy jobs,” Feinstein and Boxer wrote in their letter.