California Bill Would Carry Out Plan to Halve Petroleum Use

On Tuesday, several Democratic members of the California Senate introduced a package of legislative proposals they say will help combat climate change and promote a clean energy economy in the state. One of the bills, S.B.350, executes on Gov. Jerry Brown's vision mentioned in his recent State of the State address to reduce on-road petroleum use by 50% by 2030.

Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, introduced S.B.350, called the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015. The bill also aims to follow through on the governor's plan to raise California's use of renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 15 years.

According to a fact sheet, S.B.350 would make the three proposed standards permanent, trackable, and enforceable by enacting them into law and building on the accountability mechanisms already in existence to ensure they are fully implemented.

Current law requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt and implement various standards related to emissions from motor vehicles. S.B.350 would further mandate that such standards lead to a 50% cut in petroleum use by Jan. 1, 2030.

In a recent CARB analysis, the agency says existing policies will reduce petroleum use in cars and trucks by more than 20% in 2030.

CARB suggests one pathway toward the 50% goal could include reducing growth in vehicle-miles traveled to 4%; increasing on-road fuel efficiency of cars to 35 mpg and heavy-duty trucks to 7 mpg; and at least doubling the use of alternative fuels such as biofuels, electricity, hydrogen and renewable natural gas.

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