When Gov. Jerry Brown visits the Vatican this week for an international conference, he'll be carrying a resolution from state lawmakers supporting Pope Francis' recent encyclical on climate change.
He's hoping the Legislature will send an even stronger message later this year by passing new environmental rules aimed at helping California slash greenhouse-gas emissions over the next few decades.
Approval of the legislation, intended to enact goals outlined by the governor this year, would bolster Brown's calls for global action on climate change with a display of regulatory muscle in his own state.
California, which has long been known as a leader in finding ways to cut its contribution to climate change, just one-upped itself.
On Monday, Democratic lawmakers in the state unveiled a package of four bills that aim to tackle climate change in the state. One of the bills, SB 350, calls for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use in cars and trucks, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency in buildings, and a goal of 50 percent of state utilities’ power coming from renewable energy, all by 2030. Current California law requires utilities get 33 percent of their energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by 2050. SB 350’s goals are virtually the same as the ones called for by California Gov. Jerry Brown in his inaugural address in January.