California officials formally proposed a new goal on Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, compared with 1990 levels — just minutes after Donald Trump was inaugurated and mention of climate change was removed from the White House website.
The proposal will extend the state’s cap-and-trade program through 2030, require that oil refineries cut emissions by 20 percent, and aim to put 4 million zero-emission cars on the road and use less carbon-intensive fuel for transportation. ”Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, which announced the targets.
The board’s actions highlight what some experts say will likely become a growing rift between federal and state officials over climate policies. California has for decades set its own emissions limits, generally far stricter than federal standards, and the new targets are the most ambitious CO2 cuts in North America. Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s nominee for head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said during confirmation hearings last week that he would look into ending California’s authority over emissions, as well as eliminate federal policies like the Clean Power Plan to cut greenhouse gases.