The State of California continues to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On September 14, California Governor Jerry Brown complained about the failures of the federal government to address climate change and announced that California would be taking further actions on its own. He said that “with science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we’re launching our own damn satellite.”
The California Air Resources Board is partnering with the satellite imagery company “Planet” to develop new Earth observation capabilities. The satellite they plan to launch will collect additional data that is intended to allow governments, businesses, scientists, and citizens around the world to develop more targeted and effective climate strategies. The company has already launched more than 150 satellites into orbit in just the last two years, and they were all built in San Francisco. The Environmental Defense Fund will also be a partner in the effort, which will create a common platform for publicly sharing climate data.
The thing is, as a contributor in Forbes points out, California’s aggressive goals still rely on natural gas. The state hopes to be using 100% “carbon-free” electricity by 2045, and that largely means renewables like wind and solar. So far, though, California remains very dependent on natural gas electricity to ramp up quickly when the sun goes down or the wind stops blowing.
In fact, California regulators are keeping a gas storage facility in Los Angeles open despite public opposition because that gas is important to reliable electricity. The state is making efforts to incorporate new electricity-storage facilities so that stored electricity can be used instead of natural gas, but it is not at all clear that electricity storage will ever be an economically-viable replacement for gas. Odds are that natural gas combined with carbon capture technology will be used to meet the 100% “carbon-free” goal.
Climate researchers are virtually unanimous that the boom in shale gas production in the last few years has helped cut climate emissions without harming consumers. Much of this new natural gas production has come from the Appalachian region, and if your company wants to get involved in producing that gas, you can give us a call at all 412-212-7517.