Transcript: CA Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2014 state of the state address – Part III

Part III – Partial transcript of Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D-California) 2014 state of the state address on Jan. 22, 2014:

Among all our uncertainties, weather is one of the most basic. We can’t control it. We can only live with it. And now we have to live with a very serious drought of uncertain duration.

Right now, it’s imperative that we do everything possible to mitigate the effects of the drought. I’ve convened and interagency drought task force, declared a state of emergency.

We need everyone in every part of the state to conserve water.

We need regulators to re-balance water rules and enable voluntary transfers of water.

And we must prepare for forest fires.

As the state water action plan lays out, water recycling, expanded storage, and serious groundwater management must all be part of the mix, so too, must investments in safe drinking water, particularly in disadvantaged communities. We also need wetlands and watershed restoration and further progress on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

It’s a tall order but it is what we must do to get through this drought and get ready for the next one.

We do not know how much our current problems derives from the build-up of heat-trapping gases, but we can take this drought as a stark warning of things to come.

The United Nations Panel on Climate Change says with 95% confidence that human beings are changing our climate. This means more droughts, more extreme weather events and, in California, more forest fires and less snowpack.

As you know of all the states and even most of the countries of the world, California’s the leader in dealing with climate change.

From AB 32 to our building and appliance efficiency standards, our renewal portfolio standards and our support of electric vehicles, California is leading the way.

Nevertheless, in terms of greenhouse gases, our biggest challenge remains the amount of gasoline Californians use.

Each year, our motor vehicles use more than 14 billion gallons of gasoline to travel 330 billion miles. I said billion. To put those numbers into perspective, the sun is 93 million miles away.

Reducing our oil consumption – two-thirds of which is imported by ships and tank cars – will take time. It’ll take breakthrough technologies and steadfast commitment. It’ll also require that the countries which burn the most fossil fuel join with us. We’ve started building those partnerships with other states and countries like China. We’re going to Mexico next because California can’t do it alone.

In so many other ways, California’s the pioneer. We have 25% of the nation’s foreign born, and we’re the first state in modern times to have a plurality of families of Latino origin. So, it’s not surprising that California is the state where immigrants cannot only dream they can drive legally.

We’re also the state of innovation, of Silicon Valley, with more venture capital investment than any other state by far.

We’re on our way to 1 million electric vehicles and we’re building the nation’s only high-speed rail.

We’re expanding health care coverage to millions more.

And California’s the nation’s leader in developing medical and scientific advances that will cure diseases and lower costs.

We have 6 of America’s 12 top-performing metropolitan areas in bio-technologies: San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Orange County.

Last year, we created a tax credit to help innovators in these regions and beyond hire and expand in California.

Four of the world’s 20 leading academic bio-science institutions are located here in California: UCSF, Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and UC San Diego.

Just as California has led the way with stem cell research, so too we can pioneer the new fields of precision medicine, which uses genomics, medical devices, computer sciences and other fields to treat individual patients instead of broad populations.

Yes, California is a leader in so many ways. But the dangers and the difficulties we face can never be taken lightly. We still have too many struggling families, too much debt, and too many unknowns when it comes to our climate.

Overcoming these challenges will test our vision. It’ll test our discipline. It’ll test our ability to persevere. But overcome them we will, and as we do, we will build for the future, not steal from it.

Thank you.



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