California meets greenhouse gas reduction goal years earlyJuly 12, 2018 12:50am

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California greenhouse gas emissions fell below 1990 levels, meeting an early target years ahead of schedule and putting the state well on its way toward reaching long-term goals to fight climate change, officials said Wednesday.

The California Air Resources Board announced pollution levels were down 13 percent since their 2004 peak — as the economy grew 26 percent since that year. The achievement was roughly equal to taking 12 million cars off the road or saving 6 billion gallons (22.7 billion liters) of gasoline a year, the board said.

Chairwoman Mary D. Nichols called it "great news for the health of Californians, the state's environment and its economy."

Greenhouse gas emissions dropped 2.7 percent in 2016 — the latest year available — to about 430 million metric tons, the board said. That's just below the 431 million metric tons produced in 1990.

California law requires that emissions return to 1990 levels by 2020 and reach 40 percent below that marker by 2030. The Air Resources Board has broad authority to achieve those goals in the nation's most populous state.

"California set the toughest emissions targets in the nation, tracked progress and delivered results," Governor Jerry Brown said Wednesday.

The decrease is partly a result of California's increased use of renewable power, the board said. Solar electricity generation from rooftop arrays and power plants jumped 33 percent in 2016, according to the new data. Imports of hydroelectric power shot up 39 percent that year as rains returned to the Western United States after years of drought, officials said.

While many thought the 2020 milestone was reachable, meeting the 2030 target — which the governor called "heroic" — will be more of a challenge.

"It's a marathon, not a sprint," said Alex Jackson, senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council's San Francisco office.

The transportation industry, one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, will have to continue its trend of using more efficient vehicles and cleaner fuels, he said.

The transportation sector saw a 2 percent increase in emissions in 2016 because of increased fuel consumption, the state report said. But officials said California also saw cars and trucks use a record amount of biofuels — a total of 1.5 billion gallons (5.7 billion liters).

California has a head start toward reaching the 2030 target because of its tailpipe emissions standards, which have exceed federal minimums for years, Jackson said.

He said the goal is achievable, despite "new headwinds from a hostile federal administration" that has moved to scale back or suspend national climate programs.

"The world is watching as California sets the way forward," Jackson said.

___

Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCM

Page 1 of 1

More Stories Like This

The Latest: Firefighter died in bulldozer near YosemiteOfficials say a firefighter killed while battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park was driving a bulldozer and trying to prevent the fire from spreading
In this Sept. 28, 2017, photo provided by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, a bobcat wears a GPS tracking collar while walking through a field in New Milford, Conn. GPS collars were placed on several dozen bobcats in the fall of 2017 to track their movements. The collars are programmed to fall off on and after Aug. 1, 2018. The agency wants to find all the collars, recharge the batteries and place them on other bobcats in the fall to continue the study. (P. Benjunas/Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection via AP)
Tracking bobcats: Researchers need help finding GPS collars
This photo provided by California Department of Transportation shows emergency responders at the scene of an overturned bus in Pico-Union, just south of downtown Los Angeles, early Saturday, July 14, 2018.  Fire officials say there were 32 people aboard the coach bus when it crashed. They say four were seriously injured.  (California Department of Transportation via AP)
25 injured after bus overturns on Los Angeles freeway
Man nabbed in wife's chain saw attack was deported 11 timesOfficials say a man accused of attacking his wife with a chain saw in front of their children at their Los Angeles-area home had been previously deported from the U.S. 11 times since 2005
FILE - In this May 3, 2018 file photo, California state Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, poses for photos in his campaign office in Los Angeles. The California Democratic Party has snubbed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein by giving its endorsement to her rival, de Leon. He won the party nod Saturday, July 14 after a vote of the party's roughly 360-member executive board made up of local officials and party activists.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Feinstein remains favorite in California race despite snub
LA's landmark observatory evacuated due to suspicious itemAuthorities say the landmark Griffith Observatory overlooking Los Angeles has been evacuated because of a suspicious package
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices