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California Gov. Jerry Brown rallies regulators working on new emissions plan

California Gov. Jerry Brown, shown last month in Los Angeles, on Thursday reiterated his support to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, shown last month in Los Angeles, on Thursday reiterated his support to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

(Nick Ut / Associated Press)

As California regulators prepare new steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Jerry Brown visited a public hearing near the Capitol to voice his support.

The meeting, “while rather mundane, and not the subject matter for gubernatorial visitation, or journalistic inquiry, still is a very, very profoundly important undertaking,” Brown said.

The governor issued an executive order earlier this year to reduce emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. His predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, set a target of 80% below the 1990 levels by 2050.

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Brown and his allies suffered a defeat last month when the Legislature refused to approve his goals for slashing gasoline use on state roads. Lawmakers also rejected a measure that would codify executive orders on emissions reductions.

However, the governor has pledged to push forward with the regulatory power he already has, and the California Air Resources Board is working on new plans to slash pollution over the next 15 years.

During the meeting, Brown reminded participants of the challenges of shifting human society away from fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuel got you here,” he said. “You are dependent on fossil fuel.”

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Reducing pollution from transportation will be an enormous task, especially with California’s population increasing and more drivers on the road.

“How the hell we do that, probably nobody knows,” Brown said. “But the people who have the best understanding and the best capability to do things [are] right here. Right here in California.”

Follow @chrismegerian on Twitter for more updates from Sacramento.

For more political coverage, go to www.latimes.com/politics.

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