A federal court heard motions for summary judgment in challenge to first-in-nation rule requiring warehouses to adopt clean technologies.

By Joshua Bledsoe, Nick Cox, and Jennifer Garlock

On April 17, 2023, a US federal judge heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD or the District) adoption of Rule 2305 and will now decide whether to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs and vacate the rule.

Rule 2305 is the Warehouse Indirect Source Rule (ISR) — Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions (WAIRE) Program. As described in this June 2021 blog post, the WAIRE Program applies to certain warehouses in the South Coast Air Basin and imposes a compliance obligation based on the number of truck visits to that warehouse per year. Warehouse operators can meet that obligation by taking any number of emissions-reducing actions, either from the “WAIRE Menu” or through a custom plan approved by the District.

The plan accelerates already ambitious climate goals for California and charts a course to carbon neutrality by 2045.

By Joshua Bledsoe, Jen Garlock, and Brian McCall

On December 15, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted its Final 2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality (Final Scoping Plan). Assembly Bill (AB) 32 requires CARB to develop and update every five years a scoping plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to combat climate change. AB 32 originally set a target of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. After California met this goal, Senate Bill (SB) 32 strengthened the state’s GHG reduction target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. California committed to even greater targets this year with adoption of AB 1279, which directs the state to become carbon neutral no later than 2045.

California continues to push toward its statewide carbon-neutrality goals.

By Arthur F. Foerster and Joshua Bledsoe

On August 25, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously approved regulations that require all new 2035 and later passenger vehicles to be zero-emission vehicles. The agency’s “Advanced Clean Cars II” regulations require manufacturers to deliver an increasing percentage of zero-emission vehicles each year, starting with 35% of new vehicle sales for cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs in 2026, and ramping up each year to reach 100% new vehicle sales by 2035.[1]

Governor Newsom introduces five ambitious proposals that could alter California’s climate policy for years to come.

By JP Brisson, Nikki Buffa, Marc Campopiano, Jennifer Roy, Michael Dreibelbis, Aron Potash, and Alicia Robinson

On August 12, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom submitted five climate proposals (the Climate Proposals) to the California legislature in the waning days of California’s legislative cycle. In his statement following the transmittal, Newsom explained that “[w]e’re taking all of these major actions now in the most aggressive push on climate this state has ever seen because later is too late.”[1]

CARB addresses California’s increasingly severe climate impacts.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kevin Homrighausen

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan) for public review and comment. Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires CARB to develop and update every five years a scoping plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Senate Bill 32 subsequently strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Latham & Watkins’ first post in this series discusses CARB’s Proposed Scenario to achieve the state’s GHG targets, which adopts a carbon neutrality target for 2045. The second post discusses how the Cap-and-Trade Program features in the Draft Scoping Plan. The third post discussed how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program factors into the state’s GHG reduction goals and how the LCFS Program may be amended in the near future. This fourth and final post describes how the Draft Scoping Plan responds to some of California’s most significant climate impacts, like wildfires, drought, and extreme heat.

CARB addresses California’s increasingly severe climate impacts.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Kevin Homrighausen

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan) for public review and comment. Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, requires CARB to develop and update every five years a scoping plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Senate Bill 32 subsequently strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Latham & Watkins’ first post in this series discusses CARB’s Proposed Scenario to achieve the state’s GHG targets, which adopts a carbon neutrality target for 2045. The second post discusses how the Cap-and-Trade Program features in the Draft Scoping Plan. The third post discussed how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program factors into the state’s GHG reduction goals and how the LCFS Program may be amended in the near future. This fourth and final post describes how the Draft Scoping Plan responds to some of California’s most significant climate impacts, like wildfires, drought, and extreme heat.

CARB doubles down on LCFS Program and liquid transportation fuels.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Jennifer Garlock

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan) for public review and comment. Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), requires CARB to develop and update every five years a scoping plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Senate Bill (SB) 32 subsequently strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. Our first post in this series discusses CARB’s Proposed Scenario to achieve the state’s GHG targets, which adopts a carbon neutrality target for 2045. Our second post explores how the Cap-and-Trade Program features in the Draft Scoping Plan. In this third post, we examine how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Program factors into the state’s GHG reduction goals and how the LCFS Program may be amended in the near future. The Draft Scoping Plan states that CARB will initiate a rulemaking on the LCFS to ensure it continues to support low-carbon fuels that will displace petroleum fuels.[1]

CARB opts to stay the course on Cap-and-Trade Program.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe, Michael Dreibelbis, and Alicia Robinson 

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), required CARB to develop a scoping plan, to be updated at least once every five years, that describes the approach California will take to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  In developing the 2022 Draft Scoping Plan Update (Draft Scoping Plan), CARB evaluated four scenarios to identify the most viable path to achieve the state’s 2030 interim GHG reduction and GHG neutrality targets. Our first post on this topic discusses CARB’s ultimate selection of the third scenario, which adopts a carbon neutrality target for 2045 instead of 2035, as the best among the four. In this second post, we discuss how the Cap-and-Trade Program (the Program) features in the Draft Scoping Plan.

The Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update takes an all-of-the-above approach to decarbonize California.

By Joshua T. Bledsoe and Brian McCall

On May 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its Draft 2022 Scoping Plan Update for public review and comment. Originally, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 required CARB to develop a scoping plan, to be updated every five years, that describes the approach California will take to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Subsequently, Senate Bill 32 strengthened the state’s GHG emissions reductions target to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and former Governor Jerry Brown’s Executive Order B-55-18 established a second statewide goal to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045. Recognizing the need to achieve GHG emissions reductions more quickly, in July 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom directed CARB to accelerate efforts to achieve the state’s climate stabilization and GHG reduction goals, including to “identify a pathway for achieving carbon neutrality a full decade earlier than the existing target of 2045.” The Draft Scoping Plan Update identifies CARB’s proposed path for how California can reach both its interim goal of reducing GHGs by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and its ultimate goal of carbon neutrality by 2045 along with pathways that would achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

If adopted, the Senate bill would require large US companies doing business in California to report Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions as of January 2024.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Marc T. Campopiano, Jennifer K. Roy, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Julie Miles, and Alicia Robinson

The California Legislature is considering a bill to impose corporate sustainability reporting requirements that would substantially expand corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting obligations and, according to the bill’s co-author, impact “the vast majority of the country’s largest corporations, who almost all conduct business in California.” If adopted, Senate Bill 260 (SB 260) would establish a first-of-its-kind mandatory GHG emissions reporting framework requiring regulated entities to report all emissions “scopes,” including Scope 3 emissions (discussed below). The bill could also have impact well beyond California given the state’s ambitious climate policies and the number of large companies that do business in California.