Inside the observatory, overlooking downtown Los Angeles, a ceremonial signing of major legislation was taking place. Amidst self-congratulation by members of the political class in attendance, Governor Brown added his signature to legislation mandating that half of California’s energy come from renewable sources within 15 years.
The bill by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat, originally contained language requiring a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030. This draconian feature contained no specific formula for reducing gasoline use, leaving it up to the unelected California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement restrictions that could have included massive fees, gas rationing or driving restrictions. Moderate Democrats and Republicans united in opposition to adding to the burden on working families already paying the highest gas prices in the nation, and de Leon was compelled to remove the restrictions on petroleum use.
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