Et Tu, California?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A Republican from Alaska and a coal-state Democrat are fairly obvious obstacles to EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. But California?

The California Energy Commission last month sent a letter to the EPA asking it to slow down on implementation of regulations on greenhouse gas emissions, after the agency announced that it had finalized its finding that greenhouse gases do in fact pose a threat to public health. The CEC argues that phasing them in too fast could hurt efforts in the state to expand use of low-carbon energy.

“We believe such an approach would avoid the disruptive effect of the current EPA proposal,” wrote the CEC in the Dec. 23 letter, noting that the commission thinks the EPA rules would “likely retard, rather than facilitate, reductions in (greenhouse gas emissions) from the electricity sector.”

California passed its own climate law, AB32, in 2006. The CEC argues that the introduction of new regulations from the EPA would tie up the state’s efforts to reduce carbon, because EPA regulations operate differently from a cap and reduction program like theirs, which is more similar to the type of proposal being considered in Congress. As Reuters explains:

As part of California’s plan to build more wind and solar power farms, which generate power sporadically, it would construct a fleet of highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants to back those systems.

The new rules could slow down the permitting process of those new natural gas plants, and, in turn, the build out of renewable energy, the letter said. It would also increase reliance on older, less efficient natural gas plants that are not designed to work with renewable energy.

This seems like a justifiable complaint from California, but it does ignore the fact that the rest of the country is not (much as some might like it to be) California. Most states are still reliant on dirty, aging coal plants with no concrete plan in place for transitioning away, thus the push for EPA regulations.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate