States Continue to Lead on Climate

September 23, 2020

California Will Ban ICE: Michigan Commits to Carbon Neutrality

“The science is clear – climate change is directly impacting our public health, environment, our economy, and our families,” said Governor Whitmer. “This dangerous reality is already causing harm throughout Michigan, with communities of color and low-income Michiganders suffering disproportionately, which is why I’m taking immediate action to protect our state. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to leave them a cleaner, safer and healthier world.

“Through comprehensive and aggressive steps, we will combat the climate crisis by formally setting and relentlessly pursuing a goal of statewide decarbonization by 2050. These bold actions will provide critical protections for our environment, economy, and public health, now and for years to come. It will also position Michigan to attract a new generation of clean energy and energy efficiency jobs.”

Executive Directive 2020-10 formally sets the goal of economic decarbonization in Michigan by 2050. Transitioning to carbon neutrality will mitigate the future harms of climate change and enable Michigan to take full advantage of the ongoing global energy transformation—from the jobs it will generate for our skilled workforce, to the protections it will provide for natural resources, to the savings it will bring to communities and utility customers.

To ensure steady progress toward this goal, and to prevent irreparable harm to Michigan’s ecosystem, residents, and businesses in the interim, the Executive Directive further provides that Michigan will aim to achieve a 28 percent reduction below 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.

Additionally, the Department of the Treasury must develop and implement an Energy Transition Impact Project to assist communities in maintaining critical services and ensuring high quality employment for workers while moving toward a more sustainable future when faced with the closure of energy facilities.

Wall Street Journal:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an order Wednesday that aims to end the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars in the state by 2035.

It is an ambitious attempt to bolster electric vehicles in the largest car market in the U.S., as well as a bid to tackle emissions that cause climate change. Transportation is responsible for more than half of carbon pollution in California, the governor said.

More than 11% of all light vehicles in the U.S. last year were registered in California, according to IHS Markit.

California is the first state in the nation to commit to such a goal, but could serve as a spark for other left-leaning states to follow, given its size and historic leadership on regulatory issues. Internationally, 15 other nations have committed to phasing out gas-powered cars according to Mr. Newsom, including Canada, the U.K. and France.

The goal is an ambitious one, given the relatively small size of the electric car market currently. Through July, 6.2% of light vehicles registered in California were electric powered and 1.6% in the entire U.S., according to IHS Markit. 

“Of all the simultaneous crises that we face as a state…none is more forceful than the issue of the climate crisis,” Mr. Newsom said while standing in front of several electric cars. “What we’re advancing here today is a strategy to address that crisis head on, to be as bold as the problem is big.”

The order also says that, “where feasible,” medium and heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and construction equipment should be zero-emission by 2045.

Mr. Newsom has emphasized climate change as a key cause of the historically disastrous fires that have ravaged the state in the past month. Experts have said California has become more susceptible to fast-moving, destructive wildfires due in part to climate change, which causes trees and plants to dry out and become more flammable, as well as overgrown forests and an increase in housing in fire-prone areas. 

The announcement spurred immediate criticism from the Trump administration. “This is yet another example of how extreme the left has become,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “They want the government to dictate every aspect of every American’s life, and the lengths to which they will go to destroy jobs and raise costs on the consumer is alarming. President Trump won’t stand for it.”

2 Responses to “States Continue to Lead on Climate”

  1. Electric cars certainly look poised to make advances, especially in light of Tesla’s battery day announcements, but trying to ban ICEs is not going to end well.

    The video is amusing trying to make over reaching, busy body, paint banning Governor Witlessmore look cool and hip.

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    SOME states lead. Others are what’s dragging us back.

    “No, those climate changes don’t make you look fat.”
    Even in the states that aren’t at the rear, politicians love to call their timid and inadequate actions “bold” and unfortunately, most people prefer to be lied to.
    2050 is too late, and if we don’t support people better to deal with the emotional consequences of facing reality, they never will.

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