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California Cement Industry Working To Pave The Way Toward A Cleaner Future

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom has invested nearly $40 billion into bolstering clean energy in California, pledging that by 2035 all new vehicles sold in California will be zero-emission.

Now, another major industry is joining that pledge -- the cement industry.

Tom Tietz, executive director of California Nevada Cement Association, says California uses 11 million tons of cement per year.

California cement is a hot commodity. It's used to build schools, roadways and even Sacramento's Golden 1 Center. The only other state that uses more cement is Texas.

"Our entire civilization is based on our material," Tietz said. "Every building has a concrete foundation."

Now the material is working to cement itself in California's future, but how? We're getting answers.

"The California Nevada Cement Association released a carbon neutrality plan," Tietz said.

California's seven cement factories have to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to maintain heat high enough to melt materials.

Right now, plants runs on processed and fuel-based emissions. Tietz and the California Legislature are working to change that with the promise to go zero-carbon by 2045.

"We're committed to making the material itself carbon neutral," Tietz said.

Senate bill 596 will make California the first state to target greenhouse emissions from cement – a move that Tietz says will allow the easily imported commodity to remain in California, keeping jobs close to home and climate change in check.

"We're an essential part of our solution," Tietz said.

So, what will the new energy sources be?

The Air Resources Board, the state's clean air agency, has to develop a metric comparing the environmental effects of different kinds of cement by July 2023.

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