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Watch: Gov. Newsom plans to phase out gas-powered cars in 15 years

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California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a big change to transportation in the state. In a video news conference Wednesday, saying the state will be "phasing out the internal combustion engine. By 2035 every new car sold in CA will be an emission-free vehicle."

You can watch the announcement in the player below:

Earlier Wednesday, Governor Newsom previewed the announcement as a "major new initiative to dramatically advance the state's progress toward a low-carbon future."

Newsom said in a tweet, "Transportation is responsible for more than 50% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions."

'Climate change is real'

During a briefing last week, Newsom said that record-breaking temperatures and drought conditions, which have fueled the recent fires, have been going on for years because of climate change. He emphasized the importance of addressing climate change while also battling the fires.

"Climate change is real," claimed Newsom. "It's about acknowledging science, not about believing in facts or not believing in facts, facts are facts. Science is science, it's about acknowledging the science and acknowledging the facts," Newsom said.

“The fundamental facts cannot be denied,” Newsom said. “The trendlines are not going in the right direction.”

Newsom, who has been adamant about climate change's role in the wildfires, met with President Trump during his recent visit to California. "Climate change is real," Newsom said.

"We obviously feel very strongly the hots are getting hotter," Newsom said. "The dries are getting drier. When we're having heat domes, the likes of which we've never seen in our history."

The average temperatures in the Golden State have increased by three degrees since 1980, illustrated most recently with the hottest August in recorded state history, according to Newsom.

"We come from a perspective, humbly, where the science is in, and observed evidence is self-evident that climate change is real and that is exacerbating this," the governor added.

Newsom told Trump to "please respect -- and I know you do -- the difference of opinion out here as it relates to this fundamental issue on the issue of climate change."

"Absolutely," Trump responded.

Newsom said the meeting was an opportunity to remind the President that 57% of the forested land in the state of California is under federal jurisdiction, while just 3% is under the state's control.

He said it should be the joint responsibility of the state and federal government to do more on vegetation management and forest management.

"We can't do this alone," Newsom said. "We're going to need the federal government to step up in substantial ways."

Trump and California officials did agree that continued federal assistance with forest management was necessary.

Just before his briefing, Trump was asked by a reporter what role climate change was playing in the fires.

"Well, I think this is more of a management situation. If you look at other countries, if you go to other countries in Europe, Austria, Finland ... they're forest nations. They're in forests and they don't have problems like this," the President responded.

The President also suggested that other nations need to take responsibility for their levels of pollution more than the US, because the US is "just a small speck."

Top Stories / Wildfire

KESQ News Team

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