California Climate Plan has Inland Condemning Coastal Elitism

The way inland California lawmakers see it, the only benefit to their constituents from Gov. Jerry Brown’s expansion of carbon pollution laws will be cleaner air to breathe as they wait at the unemployment office.

Brown and other Democrats are pushing legislation to reduce greenhouse gases caused by burning fossil fuels to a fraction of what they were a quarter-century ago. The state would make utilities get a greater share of electricity from low-pollution sources, compel industries to cut smokestack emissions further and encourage cleaner cars on roads.

In a state of 39 million dominated by Democrats, politics falls along regional lines rather than partisan ones. Just as California’s north and south fight over water amid a record drought, the climate legislation has widened long-standing rifts between more affluent, Democratic-leaning cities along the coast and poorer, more conservative towns in the interior.

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