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Policy Changes Needed To Achieve Calif. Emissions Goal

A new study shows the need for policy changes if California is to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The study by Next 10 says electricity prices in particular should be revamped.

California has a goal of reducing emissions 80-percent from 1990 levels by 2050. The study by the non-partisan group said a number of changes will be needed if the goal is to be met.

It said the current electricity pricing system doesn't reflect true cost differences between using electricity during peak and off-peak hours. For example, current rates make charging an electric car at night six to eight times more expensive than during the day.

The study suggests changes in state law that would allow costs of greenhouse gas emission reductions to be passed directly to ratepayers. That's a practice that's been banned since the California energy crisis of 2001. The study said because of this, consumers won't naturally conserve energy to reduce their bills.

The state could also set a 2030 emission reduction target to speed research and innovation to meet longer-term goals.

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