Governor Brown Takes on Climate Change in California

MCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown has pledged to lead in the fight against climate change. His goal is to put 1.5 million zero-emission cars on the roads of his state over the next 10 years. Governor Brown has already signed 11 global warming bills that include:

  • Giving rebates for the purchase of cleaner automobiles to low-income residents
  • Adding 15,000 permits for clean-air vehicles in car-pool lanes
  • Requiring California to come up with a plan to fight methane and other short-lived pollutants
  • Asking cities and counties speed up the permit process for the installation of residential solar panels

John Zolotas is a chemical engineer for Fossil Fuels & Thermal Treatment of Waste at Aachen University, and a consultant for green business opportunities. He has been active in the renewable energy sector for the last decade. John explains, “If electric vehicles consume electric power NOT produced by renewables, then Governor Jerry Brown has ‘dug a hole in the water.’ I would start with inner city fleets, such as taxi cabs, buses, and UPS trucks, and gradually work my way to small city company cars and rentals.

“As far as the subject of ‘how to produce electric power within the city limits,’ I would endorse BIPV (building integrated photovoltaics) and vertical wind generators at parking lots and building roof tops. And one final comment: Saving energy is the greatest renewable source from a philosophical point of view.”

Steve Shepard of SBT Designs in Woodland Park, Colorado says, “Governor Brown is taking aggressive and assertive measures to address the threat of global warming in his state. Some of the measures are admirable and ambitious, but one can’t help but wonder what additional and new financial and personal burdens these mandates place on small business, homeowners and individuals.

“Americans have a bad habit of not doing anything until crisis or necessity forces them to but when government forces action it often has a nefarious tone behind it. Hopefully California bureaucrats develop or have the wisdom to make allowances when economics or personal situations prevent compliance with state laws that are new and foreign to many citizens.”

Rick Van Schoik, who has spent the last 30 years teaching, researching and doing sustainability policy work mostly trans-border, suggests, “A North American GHG emissions offset program based on the joint auction of ERC credits by California and Quebec could serve as a continental model until we get a world agreement.”

After spending more than 30 years in the Solar Power industry—with the core belief that ‘Solar Power should be a vital part of the mainstream energy solution’—Ronald Kenedi agrees with the other Zintro experts that Governor Richardson’s plan is addressing the issue. He says, “The increased use of clean solar electric power is one way to combat climate change.”

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