California Environmental Justice Alliance

Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

Press Release: 128 scientists and academics urge Governor Newsom, CARB to fix flawed Scoping Plan

One hundred and twenty eight scientists and academics urge Governor Newsom and the California Air Resources Board to fix flawed Scoping Plan that sets back California’s climate goals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 

Contact: 

Alexandra Nagy, (818) 633-0865, alexandra@sunstonestrategies.org

One hundred and twenty eight scientists and academics urge Governor Newsom and the California Air Resources Board to fix flawed Scoping Plan that sets back California’s climate goals

“We cannot afford to gamble on our future”: Experts call for plan that reflects the latest science; disregard unproven technologies 

SACRAMENTO — One hundred and twenty-eight scientists and academics from across California sent a letter today criticizing a plan released by the California Air Resources Board laying out how the state expects to hit its carbon neutrality goal. The letter urges the Board to make updates to the plan that “reflect the latest science and rapidly deteriorating climate reality.”  

The letter from the scientific community in California is the latest in a series of critical comments from stakeholders about the California Air Resources Board (CARB) draft scoping plan. More than seventy organizations recently submitted a letter to the Board calling for urgent changes. The agency will hold a hearing June 23 on the Draft that includes public comment.  

“Climate change is threatening every aspect of California’s human and natural health, and the fossil fuel industry continues to delay meaningful action,” said Daniel Kammen, chair of the Energy Resources Group and professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. “Governor Newsom must step in and require the California Air Resources Board to execute on his vision for accelerated climate action.”

According to advocates, the plan reflects the lobbying power of the fossil fuel industry. Fossil fuel companies spent $6 million lobbying in California the first quarter of 2022 with the Scoping Plan and advocacy for carbon capture technologies and direct air capture being a common thread among them. The sign-on letter highlights issues with these technologies, noting that carbon capture, utilization and sequestration has been disproven over decades of use – and that 80% of these projects have ended in failure. 

“ARB should invest in renewable energy technologies that cut air pollution and bring tangible benefits to communities instead of creating a pathway for the fossil fuel industry to continue to pollute,” noted Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California Equity Research Institute (ERI).

CARB’s recommended path – Alternative 3 – takes the state backwards from existing policy by proposing to build 10 GW of new gas generating capacity, equivalent to 33 new large gas plants. This does not keep pace with local, national or international climate ambition. 

“We need to see greater ambition and leadership on climate from Governor Newsom and the Air Resources Board,” said Leah Stokes, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “The time has come to stand up to the fossil fuel lobby that wants to double down on pollution and climate chaos.” 

The California Air Resources Board is expected to release a final plan for adoption in late Fall 2022.

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Download this press release as a PDF here.