A battle over climate change and its impacts is taking shape between the federal government and lawmakers in at least two states.
Not long after taking office, President Donald Trump’s administration removed references to climate change on the White House website. Trump has also claimed it is a hoax and vowed to dismantle policies like the Climate Action Plan.
Despite that, California and Wisconsin are gearing up to deal with the impacts of climate change in their states.
California released its climate change plan 37 minutes after Trump’s inauguration on Friday. The state aims would like to see greenhouse gas emissions at 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
The plan includes an extension of the state’s controversial carbon cap-and-trade program. It calls for the state’s oil refineries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent.
The proposal also asks for 18 percent reduction in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels burned in the state. California would also like to see 4.2 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030.
States currently have the legal authority to set their own emissions standards. It is likely to be challenged by the federal government as Trump seeks to bring states in line with his administration’s views on global warming. However, Gov. Jerry Brown says California will not go turn back on its climate change efforts, regardless of what the Trump administration has to say.
Wisconsin is not going quite as far as California, but the state is talking about how to prepare for the effects of climate change.
The state’s Department of Emergency Management released information last week about how climate change could lead to an increase of natural disasters like floods and forest fires.
This marks a shift from the State’s Department of Natural Resources and Public Service Commission. Both of those agencies removed climate change references from their websites.
The climate change actions have caught the attention of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They recently wrote an open letter expressing their concerns.
“Rapid changes in climate are threatening public health, safety, and natural resources,” they wrote. “Failing to accurately inform the public about these threats and the opportunities to reduce them, violates the trust we place in our public institutions.”