September at-a-glance…environment

CARB outlines plans to achieve carbon neutrality

As part of California’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2045, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a draft report detailing three scenarios to achieve the state’s goal. Each scenario relies on some degree of carbon dioxide removal to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and limit global warming to 1.5°to “avert the worse impacts of climate change.” Scenarios under consideration address increasing reliance on electricity and further removal of high global-warming potential emission, and numerous other climate-related actions.

Calif. restaurants sue state over natural gas ban

The California Restaurant Association (CRA) filed suit against the city of Berkeley, Calif. alleging that its ban of natural gas infrastructure in newly constructed buildings that became effective this year “does little to advance climate goals. Federal and state law require a practical approach to energy regulation, maintaining neutrality and recognizing the need for a diverse energy supply.” CRA also claims that the Berkeley ordinance is preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) and should be declared void and unenforceable.

Berkeley is the first U.S. city to ban new natural gas hook-ups to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More than 12 other cities in California have passed similar regulations that have yet to go into effect. Brookline, Mass., near Boston, passed a similar rule and Seattle and Bellingham, Washington also are considering bans.