The California Senate on Wednesday approved a measure requiring corporations with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion to disclose their climate footprints.
Democrats argued the public has a right to know which companies are emitting greenhouse gas emissions to ensure they are decreasing those emissions. California would be the first state to enact such legislation.
Republicans fiercely opposed the bill, along with dozens of business groups, including the Agricultural Council of California. The California Chamber of Commerce argued it would hurt small- and medium-sized businesses, since they would still have to report up the supply chain for the larger companies they contract with.
The Senate passed a resolution declaring that a climate emergency “threatens the state, the nation, the planet, the natural world, and all of humanity.” Republicans worried declaring an emergency would grant the governor special emergency powers, as the current COVID-19 crisis has.
Asm. Marc Berman of Palo Alto brought up agriculture when opening the governor’s press conference Wednesday on proposed spending for ZEVs. Speaking at Ford’s Palo Alto facility, Berman said the automaker’s electric models are “leading the way in combatting climate change” and reducing the negative impacts from forest fires that are affecting agricultural lands.
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“We used to have fruit orchards right here,” said Berman. “But now instead of raising food or cattle, we raise ideas and we raise innovation.”
Berman noted the sharp divide between urban districts and rural areas when describing his scenic drive from the Capitol in Sacramento through Central Valley farmland to get to the Silicon Valley press conference and added: “I was listening to country music, and it put me in a good place.”
Berman praised the governor’s initial budget proposal of $6.1 billion to support ZEV infrastructure and said it is helping to create the market for Ford’s products.
Gov. Gavin Newsom then lauded the car company for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup, calling it “America’s most dominant car, in terms of sales.” He described California as “the tip of the spear” for feeling the effects of climate change while also leading in climate solutions.
Berman was in the spotlight last year for a bill phasing out the sale of gas-powered landscaping equipment, which Newsom signed into law.