Still reeling from the largely unexpected presidential victory of Donald Trump, Brown and his Democrat colleagues are looking for new ways to push an aggressive climate change agenda spearheaded by the Obama administration that the incoming administration has already indicated it will not support. To bypass this newfangled opposition, Brown plans to deal directly with foreign governments and skip D.C. entirely.
According to Breitbart, Brown signed a climate change deal back in May with 12 regional and provincial governments in seven countries that commits California to reduce so-called "greenhouse gases" that trap heat in the earth's atmosphere and supposedly drive "global warming." The purpose of this deal was to show that California would stand alongside Barack Obama in joining the global consensus on climate change, even if Congress, the courts, and the rest of the country would not.
Brown has been an outspoken critic of "climate deniers" in Congress who don't want to sign the nation's sovereignty away in the name of saving the planet, going even so far as to participate in the Paris climate change talks pushing a globalist agenda. But now that President-Elect Trump has indicated that he intends to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, Brown plans to take matters further into his own hands.
"California can make a significant contribution to advancing the cause of dealing with climate change, irrespective of what goes on in Washington," Brown stated in an interview with the Times. "I wouldn't underestimate California's resolve if everything moves in this extreme climate denial direction. Yes, we will take action."
If Brown's efforts are a success, California will eventually legislate that the state achieve a mandatory reduction in carbon emissions by 40 percent below what they were in 1990, all by the year 2030. But doing so against the policies of the incoming White House would have consequences, including the potential loss of millions of dollars in federal funding that California currently uses to conduct research, some of which focuses primarily on climate issues.
"They could basically stop enforcement of the Clean Air Act and CO2 emissions," Hal Harvey, president of Energy Innovation, a policy research group in San Francisco, told the Times about the potential losses in federal research funding that may occur if California becomes its own leader in climate policy.
"That would affect California because it would constrain markets. It would make them fight political and legal battles rather than scientific and technological ones," he added.
The other major issue are the economic ramifications of going against a more conservative political agenda that sees climate change as something other than a pending disaster. States that adopt a less aggressive climate policy with fewer regulations would have a competitive advantage, claim some, over California, which would further damage it's economic position.
"If the other states pursue no-climate-change policies, and we continue to go it on our own with our climate change policies, then we would be at a competitive disadvantage for either relocating companies or growing companies here, particularly manufacturing factories,” said Rob Lapsley, the president of the California Business Roundtable, to the Times.
Sources for this article include: