California Legislature ends 2021-22 session by passing key bills to address climate change

In the waning hours of the 2021-22 legislative session Wednesday night into Thursday morning, California lawmakers passed several hotly debated bills that could mitigate climate change and protect public health.

This significant new legislation includes setting a goal for 90% of the state’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035; prohibiting new oil drilling within 3,200 feet of the places where Californians live, work, eat, shop, worship and go to school; and allocating major investments in clean cars, trucks, buses and clean energy in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $50+ billion climate budget.

An effort to set more stringent targets for reducing global warming pollution passed the state Senate but failed to pass the Assembly.

Another bill puts taxpayers and utility ratepayers on the hook for extending the operating life of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, which was supposed to close in 2025. If the governor signs that bill, Diablo Canyon will be exempt from many environmental requirements and Californians will soon see a new fee on their utility bills.

Gov. Newsom had called on state legislators to go big on climate action after the federal government passed the Inflation Reduction Act.

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