Criticism of California emissions, carbon neutrality plan

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Electric cars are parked at a charging station in Sacramento, California on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. California’s aviation regulators will publicly comment on plans to reduce fossil fuel consumption and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 on Thursday, June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

General Nashimoto of Luminalt installs solar panels on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 in Hayward, California. California’s aviation regulators will publicly comment on an aircraft to reduce fossil fuel consumption and achieve carbon neutrality on Thursday, June 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, FILE)

FILE – A man walks through a powered pump jack at the Kern River oil field in Bakersfield, California on Jan. 16, 2015. To achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. (AP Photo/Je C. Hong, file)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s aviation regulators are likely to hear a barrage of criticism Thursday over plans to reduce fossil fuel use and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, a proposal that would require sweeping changes in state powers. Economy in the face of climate change.

This will be the first public discussion of this year’s draft California Air Resources Board scoping plan, which is updated every five years and outlines a roadmap for the state to meet its climate goals. The 2045 target is one of the country’s most ambitious targets, but the proposal has many critics outside the oil industry who say the strategy has too many restrictions and mandates. A broad spectrum of environmentalists say the plan does little to reduce emissions that are warming the planet.

“California can do better than that,” MP Al Murasuchi, a Democrat, wrote in a letter accompanying the motion, which he is circulating for aid workers to sign.

Achieving carbon neutrality means the state will remove as much carbon from the air as it emits. This would be done in conjunction with the use of technology to reduce fossil fuel consumption and remove any remaining emissions from the air. The board of directors expect that the demand for petroleum in the economy and the use of fossil natural gas in buildings will be reduced by 91% by 2045.

That would require 30 times more electric vehicles on the roads, six times more electrical appliances in homes, four times more wind and solar power, and 60 times more hydrogen than today.

Even with such a sweeping transition, the plan estimates that by 2045 California will still emit at least 94 million tons of carbon dioxide — about 22% of the state’s emissions today. All must also be removed from the air.

Criticism from environmental groups has focused on key issues: the plan calls for no significant emissions cuts, relies heavily on unproven and energy-intensive carbon removal techniques, and allows states to do their jobs. The more urgent 2030 will hit emissions. target

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The Air Board created an Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, but several members of that committee said the plan fell short.

Kathryn Garoupa White, committee member and executive director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, said air regulators are unable to answer important questions about the safety and viability of carbon capture and removal proposals. The plan allows oil refining to continue but requires the installation of CO2 capture technology.

“We’re in a position to continually respond and respond to the plans they’ve already baked in with the industry,” she said.

Air Resources Board Chair Lian Randolph dismissed criticism that the plan relied heavily on carbon removal. She noted that this will require a significant reduction in gas-powered household appliances and a switch to electric vehicles. Still, fossil fuel demand will not be zero, she said.

“It seems like we’re kind of in favor of mechanical carbon removal and we’re leaving the strategies on the table to try and make room, and that’s not the case,” she said.

For its part, the oil industry has said the plan imposes too many restrictions and restrictions that are impractical and will drive up prices. Western States Petroleum Association President Katherine Rehis-Boyd wrote in a letter Wednesday to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon that the state’s energy policies, including the far-reaching plan, are contributing to higher fuel costs.

“Technology limitations, restrictive mandates, and affordable options for the people of California are not leadership,” he wrote.

Howard Herzog, senior research engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative, said the Air Board’s plan would require significantly more clean energy than carbon removal levels. To meet the plan’s goals, the state must massively increase solar, wind, and battery storage.

“One of the biggest hurdles is finding enough carbon-free energy to get to that level,” Herzog said.

Currently, carbon capture is not widespread, despite the Biden administration spending billions to increase it.

Other critics have said the plan is too focused on 2030 targets, which are closer to 2045. Air Board is on track to reduce emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by this year. However, the meeting would require a significant acceleration in the pace of cuts. Air Board Chairman Randolph said many of the state’s climate policies have become or are about to become more stringent.

The scoping plan analyzes for the first time the role that natural and farmland such as forests and farmland will play in increasing or reducing emissions. The plan hinges on whether such a country would pull carbon out of the air. However, the plan later determined that it would likely contribute to emissions by 2045, mostly from wildfires or related forest management. To offset these additional emissions, the Air Board could have even more carbon dioxide removal requirements.

The Air Board consists of 14 members, most of whom are appointed by the governor. They represent local Hawaiian districts, environmental justice communities, agriculture and the transportation system. They will approve the final plan by the end of the year.

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