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Climate Retreat? California Legislature May Ditch Plan to Radically Reduce Emissions

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One ominous sign: The Democratic leader of the Assembly has not thrown his weight behind the bill.

“For us, it’s not imperative that it get done this year,” said Anthony Rendon, who has a background as an environmentalist but rose to speaker this year with support from a powerful bloc of business-friendly Democrats. “It’s a program that has had its success, but at the same time there are some corrections that could be made. We just want to make sure that if we’re going to set something up for the long term, that we get it right.”

Senate Bill 32 is shaping up as the biggest fight lawmakers are likely to tackle in what remains of the legislative year. It pits environmentalist Democrats, mostly from the state’s more prosperous coastal areas, against Democrats and Republicans from struggling inland areas who side with oil companies and other businesses, and whose constituents could be harder hit by rising energy prices.

The bill, which sets ambitious targets to cut planet-warming emissions by 2030, faces a critical deadline with the Legislature set to wrap up for the year on Aug. 31.

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