California officials urge Gov. Brown to sign bill, phase out oil and gas production

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- One of the hundreds of bills sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk is SB 100. It would require all retail electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2045. A group of leaders with Elected Officials to Protect California is urging him to sign it.

"The city of Lancaster is the first city in the world to become net-zero," said Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris. "Elected officials have to decide, are we more afraid of the oil companies than we love our children?"

Leaders from Culver Ciy, Lancaster and Long Beach pointed to studies that suggest gas production facilities pose major health risks. They're also asking Brown to stop issuing permits for new drilling.

The governor's spokesperson told Eyewitness news it was Brown who previously signed the legislation that established California's 33 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030 renewable energy targets.

A statement said: Clearly, the world needs to curb its use of oil and the phase out is already underway in California where the state is committed to cutting consumption in half. At the same time, oil production in California has dropped 56 percent. There's a reason the White House and fossil fuel companies fight California on almost a daily basis - no jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere is doing more on climate.

"Governor, your fight against climate change is commendable, but there's one big problem. Climate leaders don't frack, and they don't drill for oil, they keep it in the ground," said Culver City Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells.

Brown is co-hosting a Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco later this month.

Eyewitness News also reached out to both gubernatorial candidates, Republican businessman John Cox and current California Lieutenant Governor Democrat Gavin Newsom.

Newsom has expressed his opposition to fracking and unsafe oil operations, and said he wants California to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. His campaign's communications director, Nathan Click, pointed to Newsom's platform on the environment but the candidate has not publicly endorsed SB 100.

Cox provided the following statement:

"First and foremost, California needs an energy policy free from the corrupting influence of special interests on both sides.

Any environmental or energy policy in California must focus on creative solutions that prioritize both environmental protection and the ability of Californians forgotten by the Sacramento political class to afford to pay their rent and put food on the table for their families, and that is where my time and energy is focused.

Personally, I support many clean energy efforts. I drive an electric car. I oppose any new or expanded offshore oil drilling because I believe it's important to focus on what we can do to ensure we protect California's coastline, natural habitat and ocean waters.

As Governor, I will work to continue California's environmental stewardship by working to expand clean energy options."

However, Cox's camp said it would be premature to take a position on SB 100.
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