Friday, September 14, 2018

Governor Brown bill signing AB 2195 authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau

SAN FRANCISCO — Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2195, authored by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), to require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to quantify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, associated with the leakage of gas into the atmosphere, during the production, processing, and transportation of natural gas that is imported into the state from out-of-state sources.

“Some estimates put the nationwide emissions from natural gas leakage at levels comparable to the emissions of 18 coal fired power plants, so it is vital to have accurate information about the environmental impact of California importing natural gas,” said Assemblymember Chau. “AB 2195 will help the state to accurately calculate GHG emissions to better understand the scope of the leakage related to the use of natural gas.”

California imports approximately 90% of the natural gas that is used in the state. Methane, a primary component of natural gas, is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat over the course of its first 20 years in the atmosphere, leading to serious environmental impacts if a large amount of gas is lost into the atmosphere.  CARB currently only calculates “in-state" natural gas combustion and leakage even though our in-state use of imported natural gas is responsible for significant pollution outside the state. Accordingly, millions of tons of GHG pollution go uncounted every year.  As a result, the true environmental footprint of California natural gas use is hidden from the state’s inventory, consumers and policy makers.

"With the Trump Administration rolling back policies to curb methane emissions, state policies based on sound science that enhance our understanding of methane emissions from the entire supply chain are more important now than ever,” said Tim O'Connor, the California Oil and Gas Director for Environmental Defense Fund, AB 2195’s sponsor. “AB 2195 is a critical bill to better our understanding of California's natural gas carbon footprint as California imports 90% of the natural gas we use in the state." 

Assemblymember Ed Chau represents the 49th Assembly District, comprised of the communities of Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City and portions of Montebello, and South El Monte.