WASHINGTON - April 11 - San Francisco, CA: Clean energy advocates criticized Governor Schwarzenegger today for supporting large fossil fuel projects while simultaneously making statements about his commitment to the environment. At issue is the Governor’s support of importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) into California for the first time in the state’s history. According to the coalition, LNG will add significantly to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and despoil the coastline.
Today in San Francisco, the Governor will hold a summit where he will discuss the state’s new climate action plan. Despite a request sent to the Governor last February by 20 environmental organizations, the climate plan does not address the climate impacts of LNG imports. None of the California groups that oppose LNG were invited to attend the summit. The February sign-on letter was generated by the coalition Ratepayers for Affordable Clean Energy (RACE).
The Governor also launched a TV ad this week which contains misleading claims about his protection of California’s environment. The ad boasts of the Governor’s protection of the California coastline and his efforts to fight global warming. By supporting LNG, the coalition says, he is doing neither.
“You cannot fight global warming by burning huge volumes of fossil fuels,” said Rory Cox, California Program Director at Pacific Environment. “LNG facilities are large, industrial behemoths that will mar the California coastline, endanger communities, and become a huge part of our energy portfolio.”
While the coalition applauds the Governor for being honest about the reality of climate change, they say that just talking about it and issuing a report does nothing to reduce emissions. “The Governor can fight climate change, right now, by terminating negotiations between LNG developers and the state’s utilities,” added Cox.
LNG production, transportation, and use emits 18 to 40 percent more greenhouse gasses than domestic natural gas. LNG facilities to serve California have been proposed for the Southern California Coast, the Oregon Coast, and Baja California. One is already under construction along a pristine coastline in Baja California, just north of Ensenada.
“California can play a leading role in fighting climate change,” said David Gordon, Executive Director of Pacific Environment. “We need to stop handcuffing ourselves to fossil fuels like LNG and instead build our renewable energy industry to meet our energy needs.”
RACE is a coalition of 20 organizations, including Greenpeace, Environment California, Pacific Environment, and Public Citizen dedicated to a clean energy future for California.