California governor calls for no new gasworks in fight against climate change

Newsom is trying to accelerate the energy transition, despite a rickety grid, by moving away from fossil fuels more broadly.

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(Bloomberg) – California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday announced steps to accelerate the transition to clean energy and tackle climate change, including ending the construction of gas-fired power plants, even as the Abandoning fossil fuels threatened his state with blackouts and forced him to reconsider nuclear power.

Newsom said he would work with Sacramento lawmakers to pass legislation requiring California to achieve carbon neutrality, a goal set by his predecessor Jerry Brown in an executive order. In a letter to the state’s top climate change regulator, the Democratic governor also called for the construction of offshore wind farms, the deployment of 6 million household heat pumps, the requirement for the aviation industry to increasing its use of clean fuels and setting firm targets to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using both land management and machinery designed for the task.

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Perhaps most importantly, Newsom told the head of the California Air Resources Board that he did not want any new natural gas plants built in the state. So many old gas-fired plants have shut down in recent years that California experienced brief blackouts in 2020 and nearly outages on several other occasions, during warm summer evenings when the sun sets on the plants. state solar. In response, Newsom expressed support for keeping the state’s last nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, open past its planned retirement date of 2025.

The Air Resources Council is drafting a roadmap to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Environmentalists have criticized the timeline as too slow to end California’s reliance on fossil fuels, and they’ve also led part of their anger against Newsom. In a press release on Friday, he appeared to agree with their broad criticism, even though some of the measures he proposed, such as support for carbon removal technology for the oil and gas sector, are contested by many environmentalists.

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« The state’s proposed carbon neutral roadmap doesn’t go far enough or fast enough, » Newsom said in the statement. « That’s why I’m pushing state agencies to take more aggressive action, from offshore wind to climate-friendly homes, and to make sure we never build another fossil-fuel power plant in California again. . » Newsom, who is up for re-election in November, has stepped up efforts in recent months to distinguish California as a liberal stronghold dedicated to issues such as fighting climate change, improving access to abortion and the tighter gun limits. On Friday, he signed a law allowing residents to sue people making or selling illegal assault weapons and ghost weapons. He also ran ads in Florida and Texas, run by Republicans, harshly criticizing the policies of their governors.



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