California Governor Will Challenge Trump, EPA On Climate Change, Emissions


California governor Jerry Brown is not taking a back seat to the radical Trump agenda. In his State of the State message to the California legislature this week, governor Jerry Brown said “California is not turning back. Not now, not ever.” Brown reaffirmed the state’s plan to cut carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight,” Brown told the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco last week. “Whatever Washington thinks they are doing, California is the future.”

California governor will oppose Trump

“While no one knows what the new leaders will actually do, there are signs that are disturbing. We have seen the bold assertion of ‘alternative facts.’ We have heard the blatant attacks on science,” California governor Brown added. “Familiar signposts of our democracy — truth, civility, working together — have been obscured or swept aside.”

Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, told reporters, “Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California. The plan will help us meet both our climate and our clean air goals in the coming decades and provide billions of dollars in investments to cut greenhouse gases, smog and toxic pollution in disadvantaged communities throughout the state. It is also designed to continue to drive creative innovation, generating good new jobs in the growing clean technology sector.”

The three main parts of the plan are the addition of 4.2 million zero emissions vehicles to the roads in California, strengthening the state’s vehicle emissions standards, and reducing greenhouse gases 20% from the state’s refinery sector.

Many people are expecting the flash point between the state and federal governments will be the vehicle emissions standards promulgated by the California Air Resources Board. In existence since before the EPA was created, it has been allowed to impose higher standards on car makers who sell cars within the state than those required by federal regulations.

Ordinarily, state laws that conflict with federal law are rendered unenforceable by something called the supremacy clause of the US Constitution. The supremacy clause is what enabled civil rights legislation to override local state laws that were part of the Jim Crow era. Back then, liberals embraced the supremacy clause. Today, they prefer to take a stand on the basis of state’s rights, the very doctrine that so many states, especially those in the south, relied on to resist voting rights legislation, universal healthcare, and other “socialist” legislation.

Until now, CARB has been able to imposed its higher standard because it was issued a waiver by the EPA. The thinking was that states are free to enact tougher standards but not weaker ones. Only once before, during the George W Bush administration, did the EPA refuse to grant the waiver, so there is precedent for not doing so. Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, refused to reveal during his confirmation hearing whether he would support a continuation of the waiver for CARB, even though he himself has aggressively waived the state’s rights banner during his protracted battles with the very agency he is now supposed to lead.

“It’s troublesome, because obviously what we have heard all day is how much you support states’ rights when it comes to these issues,” Massachusetts senator Ed Markey said during an exchange with Pruitt. “But now when it comes to the right of California or Massachusetts and other states to be able to reduce carbon pollution, you’re saying you are going to review that.”

California has everything Trump hates. It has more regulations, more progressive social policies, and higher taxes that virtually any other state. Yet it is the place where innovators and job creators flock to when setting up new businesses and building new factories. According to the world according to Donald Trump, California should be a stagnant economic backwater drowning in burdensome government overreach. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Trump has suggested broadly that he would look favorably on the breakup of the European Union. He was a strong supporter of the Brexit vote that took the UK out of the EU and is encouraging other nations to do likewise. But what would his stance be if California and some adjacent states decided to say goodbye to the good ol’ US of A? The idea of a CalExit strategy began circulating on the internet as soon as the election results confirmed Trump as the next president.

America has shown itself to be deeply divided on social and economic issues. Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon and the gathering storm may portend a titanic struggle between the states unlike anything seen since the 1800’s. California is not backing down and neither is Trump. It is hard to see how a condition of peaceful coexistence between the two opposing ideologies can be achieved.

Source: Think Progress


About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • WebUserAtLarge

    If California leaves the Union, and takes along Oregon and Washington, I bet Canada would be more then happy to add 3 new provinces to it’s roster…

    • Washorefornia sounds like a great place to export all the kale being grown on rooftops in Detroit to. Should help the US’ export dollars, anyway! LOL!!

    • A lot of people want it to include Nevada too.

    • Eco Logical

      I’m Canadian and I’d welcome California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, the NE states, and any other states that share our common interests.

      • Epicurus

        Call us when you shut down the tar sands.

        • WebUserAtLarge

          Just let the rest of the Exxonstate keep Alberta and we are golden (Californian… 🙂 )

          • Epicurus

            I thought the tar sands needed an oil price of $70-$90/barrel to be economic. How does it remain in existence?

          • Eco Logical

            Yes, it’s well known that tar sands oil costs $60 ~ $70/barrel to produce, that’s why so many workers have been laid off in the past 2 years, but the oil companies have invested so much that most are still hanging on (producing oil at a loss) in the hopes that the price will go back to $100/barrel. Some oil companies are beginning to realize that $100/barrel is never going to happen again. I’m promoting synthetic fuels made from wind and solar (electrolyze H2 from H2O and then convert the H2 to Hydrocarbon fuels using carbon extracted from the air – Los Alamos National Labs ‘Green Freedom’ & Exxon’s MTG process) at a lower cost than tar sands.

          • Epicurus

            Sounds like the fuel would be expensive compared to recharging a BEV with electricity.

            Why create a hydrocarbon fuel instead of just using the hydrogen in a fuel cell?

          • Eco Logical

            Yes, it is more expensive to create a hydrocarbon fuel from solar & wind, but 99% of the population is still dependent on hydrocarbon fuels. BEVs and fuel cells are much better but it’ll take many years to replace ICEs. Also, hydrogen is difficult to transport & store, but hydrocarbon transport & storage infrastructure is already in place. In 10 ~ 20 years as ICEs are phased out and replaced with BEVs, the hydrogen/hydrocarbon won’t be needed so the solar & wind farms can then be connected to the grid to charge the BEVs.

          • Epicurus

            This synthetic hydrocarbon can compete with oil? If so, amazing.

        • Eco Logical

          The Alberta gov’t took the first step to shutting down the tar sands by putting a cap on emissions and introducing a $30/ton Carbon Levy that will be increased to $50/ton by 2023. Prime Minister Trudeau also has committed to a $50/ton Carbon Levy across Canada by 2023, has signed the Paris accord, and recently stated publicly (on national TV) that the “tar sands need to be phased out” … he exemplified on that by saying “we can’t shut down the tar sands tomorrow since most people are still dependent on oil, but in 100 years, oil will no longer be used for transportation and the tar sands oil will no longer be economical to produce. We need to responsibly manage the transition off fossil fuels in a way that protects jobs AND the environment”. I personally have been working on renewable energy for over 20 years, developed a 100 MW wind farm and working on 3 more + utility-scale solar farms … all in Alberta. There is one tar sands company (Suncor) that realizes the tar sands are no longer economical and is investing heavily in renewables. My goal is to convince the remaining tar sands extractors that their business model is no longer viable … it will take a few more years but I see the light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

          • WebUserAtLarge

            OK OK lets keep Alberta 🙂

          • Epicurus

            Fantastic. I never would have guessed that an oil company would be a likely investor for wind and solar.

            Do you organize the wind and solar projects as limited partnerships? Any trouble finding enough land at a workable price for the solar farms?

          • Eco Logical

            We’ve had Carbon Offset trading in Alberta for almost ten years where large emitters can either pay the gov’t $15/ton or purchase the offset from a clean producer. Recently the gov’t passed legislation that will escalate the Carbon Levy on ALL emitters to $50/ton by 2023 and transfer the Levy to clean producers. These initiatives are definitely helping the ROI.
            Together with my business partner, we scout suitable land, lease it from the land owners usually based on a gross revenue share, do the planning & approvals and get the permits. At that point we look for investors. Finding land is not difficult but convincing neighbors, particularly acreage owners who don’t get any revenue, can be tricky.

          • Epicurus

            You mind revealing the range of landowner royalty?

            How do the neighbors have a say?

          • Eco Logical

            Landowner royalties typically range from 1% ~ 2% of gross revenue depending on whether the landowner also gets a fixed “loss of use” reimbursement. For example, using a generation rate of $100/MWh (10¢/kWh) a 1 MW wind turbine operator would pay the landowner $1/h ~ $2/h when the wind is blowing. In SW Alberta the wind blows about 3,000 h/y so the landowner receives $3,000/y ~ $6,000/y per MegaWatt of wind farm capacity.

            Municipalities in Alberta require an ‘Open House’ prior to issuing permits to wind (or solar) farm developers. The Open House must be advertised to all landowners in the vicinity so they can attend to find out the impact of the project and voice their concerns. Most Counties have bylaws that clearly state the regulations for wind farms but there is a grey area that can be mitigated through a ‘hearing’ process. Of course, hearings involve lawyers, judges, and courts so it’s preferable to avoid those if possible (so far I’ve never had to).

          • Epicurus

            Nowhere near as lucrative to the landowner as oil and gas royalties (12.5% to 25%) but not everyone has oil and gas under their land.

    • Epicurus

      Canada is not exactly environmental nirvana. Where’s the largest tar sands production?

      California should break up into multiple states, thereby giving it more than two senators. Or it should become an independent republic, like it briefly once was.

      • WebUserAtLarge

        More the merrier, no? ~50 million vs ~100 million like-minded (mostly) people.

  • Marcel

    In the long run Cali will win, trump will go down the dumpster of history as the buffoon who went backwards as the rest of the world tried to make progress.

    • iFight4Liberty

      Actually Obama will go down as the Buffoon in light of all of Trumps accomplishments over the next 8 years.

      And once Trumps movement to uncover how votes are manipulated toward Democrats,

      The NeoMarxist Movement will shrivel and almost die.

      Get Ready, Cause Here We Come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • iFight4Liberty

    TO THE best of my knowledge, our current ‘heat wave’ is being caused by
    …More than 1 million SunSpots too many in the past 100 years.

    With accurate SunSpot records going back only to 1/1/1818 (yes 1818), it’s only 199 years of records to reflect on. Not a lot if you’re studying the sun, but its all we have, so here goes.

    From 1/1/1818 to 7/2/1917 there were 2,383,849 SunSpots
    From 7/3/1917 to 12/31/2016 there were 3,435,137 SunSpots

    That’s an increase of 1,051,288 SunSpots or

    …a 44% increase in SunSpot activity (99.5 yrs over previous 99.5 yrs)

    ……That’s an explosion in Solar Energy Output and

    ………That’s why planet Earth is getting warmer

    …………Not Carbon Dioxide output!

    • Steve Hanley

      So….what? Drill, baby, drill?

      • iFight4Liberty

        Why not?

        • Epicurus

          Premature deaths and health care costs of air pollution?

          • iFight4Liberty

            The benefits of cheap oil outweigh the risks.

            …..Have you stopped driving your car?

          • Epicurus

            Cheap oil is worth thousands of premature deaths and billions of dollars of annual health care costs? As long as it isn’t your life, right?

            Obviously we cannot transition overnight, but the next car I buy will be a plug-in.

            BTW, where I live, you can recharge an electric car for about the equivalent of a dollar a gallon of gasoline. Gasoline will never be that cheap.

          • iFight4Liberty

            You’re forgetting to factor in the cost of

            ……THAT YOU DON’T OWN.

          • Epicurus

            We need to subsidize them until economies of scale bring down the cost of the batteries–2 to 3 years longer.

          • iFight4Liberty

            No we don’t need to subsidize them.

            You and people like you need to dig into your pocket until it hurts and decide if it’s really worth it.

            Only then can the ‘invisible hand’ decide if this is the right path to take.

          • Epicurus

            The “invisible hand” is too uninformed to make critical decisions. It doesn’t even place a value on externalized costs.

            As bad as Trump and Clinton were as candidates–the worst in American history–the libertarian candidate only received 3.3% of the vote. In other words, few people buy libertarian BS, including their worship of the invisible hand.

          • iFight4Liberty

            Ah, your inner Dictator comes out!

            Who decided that there were critical decisions that needed to be made?

            Why you did!

            Hail Cesar, Stalin, Mao, Castro and Epicurus!

          • Epicurus

            Thanks for revealing how nutty you and all libertarians are.

          • iFight4Liberty

            The Truth Hurts, doesn’t it!

          • iFight4Liberty

            What Premature Deaths?

            We, Humanity, Live Longer then Ever!

          • Epicurus

            Google “air pollution premature deaths health care costs.” You can use a spreadsheet but not a search engine?

    • Eco Logical

      “To the best of (your) knowledge” … who are you? … to make such bold claims and deny the fact that more than 99% of all scientists agree it’s CO2 that causes climate change. You seem to be another FUD promoter, probably paid by the oil industry to spread Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt …

      • iFight4Liberty

        In the age of the internet I went to the site that records SunSpots.

        I down loaded the text data of every date since 1/1/1818 and the SunSpots recorded for everyday, all 72,687 days.

        I imported that data into Excel.

        I then calculated the total of SunSpots (5,818,986) and divided them based on dates.

        The first was what I stated above.

        …From 1/1/1818 to 7/2/1917 there were 2,383,849 SunSpots
        …From 7/3/1917 to 12/31/2016 there were 3,435,137 SunSpots

        I then divided them based on dates into thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, sevenths, eighths, ninths and tenths.

        By that point it is obvious that SunSpot activity over the past 99.5 years is 44% greater than from 1/1/1818 to 7/2/1917 and

        That since 1917 there has been no 20 year lull in SunSpots, but instead
        …There has been continues substantial SunSpot production by the Sun.

        Now that doesn’t mean the suns output is 44% greater, just that

        …It is greater, since SunSpots increase the energy output of the Sun.

        As for Bold Claims – That is yours when you state that 99% agree with Carbon Dioxide as the cause –

        There is NO PROOF and NO POLL showing that 99% of All Scientists agree it’s Carbon Dioxide causing global warming.

        As for who I am, I am a man who fights for truth and liberty and I have learned that to fight for either pisses off cowards like you.

        • Eco Logical

          Ok, SunSpots may be contributing but to say that CO2 is not contributing is not truth … or maybe it’s an ‘alternate’ truth …

          • iFight4Liberty

            SunSpots aren’t a contributing factor, they are THE REASON FOR GLOBAL WARMING.

            I’ve created a visualization (using excel again) to compare CO2 low levels to high levels.

            The difference is ALMOST invisible.


            …CO2 increases in our atmosphere

            ……Follow increases in global temperature,

            ………They don’t precede increases in temperature.

          • Epicurus

            Wow. I am really impressed that you came to the opposite conclusion of the National Academy of Sciences, Britain’s Royal Society (founded in 1660), every other scientific society IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, plus NASA, NOAA, the Pentagon, the CIA, and last but not least ExxonMobil which conducted its own original empirical research in the 70s.

            I think you should write to the Nobel Committee to inform them of your discovery.

            CO2 lags temperature. Here’s the story:

            https://skepticalscience DOT com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

          • iFight4Liberty

            You can shovel anything you want, the facts prove otherwise.

          • Epicurus

            Alert the media!


            “Little man with a spreadsheet disproves the world’s climate scientists!”

          • Epicurus

            Right. He has alternative facts.

    • Epicurus

      No, it’s not sun spots.

      https://skepticalscience DOT com/corrected-sunspote-history-cc-not-due-to-sun.html

      Authorsof seven-SEVEN!!!–climate consensus studies — including Naomi Oreskes,Peter Doran, William Anderegg, Bart Verheggen, Ed Maibach, J. Stuart Carlton, and John Cook — co-authored a paper that should settle the
      expert climate consensus question once and for all. The two key conclusions from the paper are:

      1) Depending on exactly how you measure the expert consensus, it’s somewhere between 90% and 100% that agree humans are responsible for climate change, with most of our studies finding 97% consensus among publishing climate scientists.

      2) The greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

      https://skepticalscience DOT com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-intermediate.htm

      I suggest you spend your time looking for a cure for cancer.

      • S.Nkm

        He’s not talking about sun spots. He’s talking about SunSpots™.

        • Epicurus

          Okay. The URL I gave addresses SunSpots.

          • iFight4Liberty

            SunSpots are sun spots, just one work & capitalized for effect.

      • iFight4Liberty

        sun spots are sun spots for this conversation.

        There has been a 44% increase in them and their relationship with cosmic rays are the controlling factor between the heating and cooling of planet earth.

        • MikeM

          I think correlation seems to be causation too for this conversation.

      • iFight4Liberty

        Yes it is.

        • Epicurus

          Your “discovery” has been addressed by real scientists at the link I gave above.

    • S.Nkm

      “TO THE best of my knowledge…”

      Checkmate environmentalists and scientists. This man just proved that man-made global warming is made up. You can all pack.

      Why? Because he knows best.

      • iFight4Liberty

        No. Because I think.

      • iFight4Liberty

        I think, I question – YOU FOLLOW!