A Senate committee has voted down a measure that would incorporate greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires into the state’s Climate Scoping Plan. Siding with opposition from the Sierra Club, Democrats argued the Air Resources Board has been considering wildfire emissions through separate research and the climate blueprint is not the appropriate place. They worried the bill would shift focus away from disadvantaged communities.
A UCLA study in 2020 found that wildfire emissions “essentially negated” nearly two decades of GHG reductions. GOP Asm. Bill Essayli of Riverside argued that requiring CARB to consider the emissions in its plan would help with strategies to reduce the emissions and combat climate change.
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“I don’t think the earth cares what the source of carbon is,” said Essayli.
Republicans and agricultural groups have criticized the administration for prioritizing aggressive emission reduction mandates over reducing wildfires in the state. The California Farm Bureau supported the bill.
The committee agreed to reconsider the measure for one more vote.