California continues to lead the way in all things green, now with new legislation that calls for dramatic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next few decades.
Bills passed by the state Senate seek to formalize energy-efficiency goals set by Governor Jerry Brown in his inaugural address earlier this year.
They include targets for reductions in car and truck fuel consumption, as well as increases in the use of renewable energy.
The legislation also includes a measure to ban offshore drilling from an area in the Santa Barbara Channel known as Tranquillon Ridge, two weeks after an oil spill off the California coast, reports the Los Angeles Times.
If the bills are passed by the California Assembly and signed into law, the state will have to meet some ambitious goals.
SB 350 calls for generating 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources, doubling the energy efficiency of older buildings, and cutting the amount of petroleum used by vehicles on California roads by half--all by 2030.
Chevrolet Spark EV at CCS fast charging station in San Diego.
Another bill, SB 32, would put executive orders issued by Brown and his predecessor--Arnold Schwarzenegger--into law, ultimately requiring emissions be reduced to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
In addition, SB 185 would require California's pension funds--the two largest public funds in the country--to divest from coal.
ALSO SEE: California Urged To Stay The Course On Electric Cars, Help Owners Charge Cheaper (Dec 2014)
The legislation was inspired by goals set by Brown in his inaugural address back in January.
Two of the headline measures--cutting vehicular petroleum use in half and doubling the efficiency of older buildings--were ripped straight from that speech.
Cal State L.A. Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility
Brown also proposed increasing use of renewable energy, although not by the amount called for in the bill.
Legislators increased the target from his original goal of one-third renewable-energy use to 50 percent.
Neither Brown nor the Senate Democrats supporting these bills have had much to say thus far in terms of concrete plans for meeting these goals.
But with California's sustained advocacy of electric cars and its current status as the only U.S. market for hydrogen fuel-cell cars, it's certainly off to a good start.