Capitol Alert

AM Alert: Jerry Brown, governors, Chinese officials talk climate

In this May 19, 2015 file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, discusses the non-binding climate change agreement he is about to sign with international leaders from various states and provinces during a signing ceremony in Sacramento, Calif.
In this May 19, 2015 file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown, center, discusses the non-binding climate change agreement he is about to sign with international leaders from various states and provinces during a signing ceremony in Sacramento, Calif. AP

After seeing a core piece of climate change legislation gutted, Gov. Jerry Brown doubled down on his determination to curb carbon emissions, perhaps through his executive authority and with a maximally enhanced zeal.

Part of the governor’s strategy has been piling up nonbinding regional pacts, signs of agreement he can point to when he joins world leaders at a much-anticipated climate conference in Paris. Today he’ll be working the issue during a Seattle conference bringing together fellow state executives and Chinese officials, including President Xi Jinping, with whom Brown gets a private audience.

Other attendees will include Brown’s gubernatorial counterparts from Washington (Jay Inslee), Oregon (Kate Brown), Iowa (Terry Branstad) and Michigan (Rick Snyder), in addition to various Chinese mayors and governors. They’ll be discussing topics that include energy-efficient buildings and the growth of clean energy technologies, the latter seeming assured once Brown signs legislation augmenting California’s renewable energy load to account for 50 percent of all electricity used.

CLIMATE CENTRAL: As you’ve probably read by now, business-backed Democrats played a key role in weakening the climate change bill. A common criticism made by folks such as de facto moderate Dems leader Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, is that policies dealing with public transit and reduced petroleum use look far different in sprawling Central Valley districts than in more urban coastal ones. A Senate Environmental Quality Committee hearing in Merced today will go deeper, exploring how the Central Valley is adapting to climate change. Starting at 11 a.m. at the University of California, Merced.

MOTOR VOTOR: In honor of today being National Voter Registration day, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and lawmakers will be holding events urging Brown to sign the Padilla-backed Assembly Bill 1461, which would automatically register every eligible voter who interacts with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s one of many bills on Brown’s desk that you can peruse here.

EL NIÑ-OCEAN: It seems everyone is an amateur meteorologist these days, wondering how much rain a likely strong El Niño could bring to parched California. But in addition to the weather event’s effect on reservoirs, it will also bring changes for fisheries whose inhabitants include squid, salmon and Dungeness crab. A variety of state officials and scientists will discuss what to expect during a workshop at the California State Library this morning hosted by the state’s Ocean Protection Council.

CAIRFUL: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s declining to shut down a questioner who identified Muslims as “a problem in this country” has revived concerns about the presidential race’s tone. This morning the the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold a demonstration on the west steps decrying what they call anti-Muslim rhetoric.

CELEBRATIONS: Happy birthday to Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, who turns 44 today.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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