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McKibben Pushes California Governor on Climate Policies

April 11, 2018

Post Carbon Fellow Bill McKibben wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times to urge California’s governor, Jerry Brown, to go further in protecting the climate and making the transition to a renewable-energy economy. Although McKibben praised Brown’s attention to climate change, he noted that California’s policies address only the demand for oil and fail to address needed curtailment of supply. McKibben also lays out logical steps for how the state can put aside drilling in favor of renewable sources of energy.

From the article:

It seems a little churlish to prod Jerry Brown on carbon issues. He’s done as much as any leader in the world to move forward on the climate and energy crises that are the defining challenges of our time.

But the truth is Brown’s not done anywhere near what he could, nor what the situation demands. As a coalition of nearly 800 groups from across the state, the country and the planet make clear in a letter to Brown released Wednesday, he’s addressed no more than half the crisis: All of California’s environmental measures have been aimed at reducing the demand for energy, and none at slowing down the production of fossil fuel. Supply and demand are two equal halves of this fight; if we don’t recognize that fact we simply will not solve the climate conundrum.

With his time in elective office winding down, Brown has the rare chance to set an example that truly will never be forgotten: He has it in his power to begin the strategic phase-out of the oil and gas industry. He could simply stop granting new state permits for oil and gas extraction and fossil fuel infrastructure, and instead start setting up a transition to sustainable fuels that would protect the workers, communities and economies that now depend on the industry. As the Trump administration tries to push us back to the 1950s, those steps would be a ringing endorsement of the future — and the future has always been Gov. Brown’s strong suit.