AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor, State of California
State Capitol, First Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Newsom:
We all support this great State’s ambitious climate goals and our clean air goals. We are also concerned about a rush to electrify all uses of energy as the sole policy solution for decarbonizing the energy sector.
There are many options that can achieve the State’s decarbonization goals – cost-effective options that recognize individual choice and preference, maintain affordability and preserve energy system reliability and resiliency. This is especially true for the building sector.
Californians overwhelmingly prefer natural gas for space and water heating, cooking and commercial and industrial uses, and count on it for a reliable electricity supply. Additionally, propane, which can also be renewable, provides affordable, low carbon energy to rural Californians.
To expect all our electricity to become renewable, and then to convert all buildings to electricity, is as simplistic as it is unrealistic. Responsible energy policies should balance decarbonizing electricity supply with decarbonizing gas supply.
Natural gas and renewable gas, including biomethane and hydrogen, can help decarbonize gas supply. They provide reliability and long-term energy storage critical to flexible operation of the energy system. And they can broaden and diversify the State’s clean and renewable resource mix, better positioning California to achieve its environmental goals.
We urge you to encourage state policymakers to objectively evaluate decarbonization options, rather than predetermining outcomes that could force California residents and businesses to electrify all energy uses – putting all our eggs in one basket – potentially forestalling progress toward state environmental goals, as well as disrupting essential services, putting public safety at risk, stifling innovation and negatively impacting the state’s energy reliability and economic prosperity.
California needs an inclusive, technology-neutral approach to building decarbonization. We need balanced energy solutions.
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