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California Governor Takes Swipe at Oil, Gas Industry

Although anti-hydraulic fracturing groups have attacked him for being too supportive of the oil and gas industry, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday took a poke at operators in the context of climate change initiatives, alleging they sell a "highly destructive" product.

In Lake Tahoe, NV, to discuss climate change initiatives, Brown said the oil industry was in "deep trouble" in a world that he sees increasingly weaning itself away from fossil fuels, according to the Los Angeles Times. He called out the oil companies in California for attempting to kill a bill in the state legislature (SB 350) to implement renewable energy, efficiency and alternative transportation programs during the next 15 years (see Daily GPIApril 30).

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) has lobbied against SB 350 provisions that call for a 50% reduction in gasoline and diesel fuel use by 2030, given the absence of "available and affordable" alternatives.

"WSPA is opposed to the petroleum reduction portion of the bill," said industry spokesperson Tupper Hull. He noted that no proposed amendments have been made to remove the objectionable part of the proposal. "So we remain opposed...

"If amendments are offered that remove the reckless provisions of the bill and make it based on some reasonable analysis and science, we would certainly consider them."

California officials have praised President Obama for committing $1 billion in Department of Energy funds to help stimulate individual homeowners' green energy improvements, boosting more renewables and distributed generation (see Daily GPIAug. 25).

California Energy Commission Chairman Bob Weisenmiller commended the Obama administration for creating clean energy financing for single-family properties. "Local governments in California were the first to implement these programs, offering a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy financing opportunities," he said. 

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