Paul Payne, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
As President Donald Trump weighed a possible withdrawal Wednesday from the Paris climate change agreement, California and especially North Coast leaders pushed back, citing the environmental and economic benefits of reducing greenhouses gases while warning of an uncertain future that would come from abandoning the accord.
Trump’s threat to unravel the 2015 pact, which committed nearly every country to take action to curb climate change, drew last-minute appeals from Silicon Valley executives such as Elon Musk of Tesla and Tim Cook of Apple. It also came as Bay Area air quality officials signaled their intent to place caps on oil refinery emissions blamed for pollution and respiratory health problems.
It was clear that although Trump might reverse course on the federal level, state and local players remained committed in their efforts to fight global warming.
“The White House may be going off in one direction to pull out of the Paris compact, but California is clearly going the other way,” said Sonoma County Supervisor Shirlee Zane, a member of the regional air quality board that indicated at a meeting Wednesday it would put future limits on refineries. “We are going to continue to lead as we do now.”
Alternative energy advocates said the state is at the forefront of creating a future without fossil fuels. The booming solar and wind markets are cutting emissions and creating jobs. Electric vehicle charging stations are cropping up across the land.
And utilities such as Sonoma Clean Power, which now has $1 billion in clean energy contracts, are providing customer savings while reducing carbon output over competitors like PG&E.