CalChamber Seeks Defeat of Proposal Limiting Technological Development

The California Chamber of Commerce is urging senators to oppose legislation that proposes to limit the technology needed to reach the state’s carbon neutrality goals.

AB 1395 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) more than doubles the state’s carbon goal while imposing limits on the use of technology to reduce carbon emissions.
California can be a climate technology leader, but AB 1395 undermines that ability. It sends tech investors a message to take their investment dollars elsewhere, a market signal that will limit the use of technology to meet climate goals.

As the CalChamber has pointed out to legislators, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Scoping Plan report is scheduled to be released in spring 2022. By not getting ahead of the CARB process, the Legislature can review the Scoping Plan Report and set goals with better knowledge next year.

The Scoping Plan will report on subjects such as pathways for California to get to carbon neutrality by 2045 and 2035. The report will include environmental and economic analyses.

If the Legislature doesn’t wait for the Scoping Plan report, the broad mandate wouldn’t come back for the Legislature to revisit until 2035.

AB 1395 also limits economic development. It bans the use of carbon capture and sequestration in certain oil industries.

Also problematic is the bill’s banning of carbon capture where it would cause any “adverse impact” — an undefined term that could be interpreted as broadly as similar terms have been, such as under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Companies are scrambling to address the climate crisis in any way possible. Sending the market signal that carbon technology will be accepted and encouraged in California is one of many ways to reduce and negate global carbon emissions.

To keep California on track to reach its climate goals, senators should oppose AB 1395 when it comes before them for consideration.

Staff Contact: Leah Silverthorn

Leah Silverthorn
Leah B. Silverthorn joined the CalChamber policy team in May 2018 as a policy advocate. She specializes in climate change, air quality, energy, environmental justice, marijuana/cannabis, and transportation and infrastructure issues. In April 2021, she was named a senior policy advocate in recognition of her efforts on behalf of members. She brought to the CalChamber more than decade of legal experience in environmental, energy, and land use matters. Immediately before coming to the CalChamber, she was the principal owner of Silverthorn Legal, based in Seattle, Washington. She focused on environmental litigation, contaminated property redevelopment, and environmental cost recovery and defense. She is an honors graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, with a B.S. in public affairs and environmental management. She earned her J.D., with honors, at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where she was articles editor for the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review and a member of the Moot Court Board. See full bio.