The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is finalizing the state’s climate blueprint, a critical plan that lays out California’s climate policies for the next 20 years. And while the state has made progress with recent legislation, this blueprint will help make the state’s climate goals a reality.
CARB has made efforts to strengthen the plan and accelerate the state’s clean energy targets, but the blueprint still favors oil and gas, giving the industry a license to pollute at a time when we need to scale up our transition to renewable energy.
This is no coincidence. The oil and gas industry has their fingerprints all over the plan. They’ve poured money into lobbying and research to influence decision makers, and have pushed their own agenda to get what they want. CARB’s blueprint makes it clear that the oil and gas industry’s lobbying efforts are working, and that our leaders are listening to them as they determine our state’s climate future.
The oil and gas industry has spent millions on research and lobbying efforts to influence decision makers’ opinion on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). CARB’s over-reliance on CCUS in the draft scoping blueprint can be seen as a win for the fossil fuel industry. And bending to the industry’s will by subsidizing CCUS technology – the majority of which is built in communities of color and low-income communities – will guarantee that already-overburdened people on the frontlines of climate change will continue to be treated as environmental sacrifice zones.
California’s climate future shouldn’t be dictated by narrow corporate interests, and carbon capture shouldn’t be treated like an offset to let oil and gas operate business as usual. The good news is the blueprint is not finalized – CARB still has an opportunity to course correct and set California’s climate policy on the right path.
Communities are asking CARB to end deadly oil and gas pollution by 2045 and invest in renewable energy, clean cars, and mass transit for all, not just the wealthy.
It’s time for CARB to finish the job and listen to Californians – not oil and gas industry lobbyists – and finalize a strong state climate plan that will protect communities from pollution, provide consumers with cheaper and cleaner renewable energy, and keep California a climate leader.