Renewable energy prospects make the electricity sector better able to slash its greenhouse gas emissions than the transportation sector, according to Stephen Schneider, Stanford University professor. The power business, more than cars and trucks, has been targeted in recent state debates to be the first to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. California power plants emit about 16 percent of the state's greenhouse gases. The number rises to about 28 percent when out-of-state plants feeding the state are factored in, according to Guido Franco, manager of the California Energy Commission's climate change research. Franco and Schneider spoke at the second annual Climate Change Research Conference, held September 14 and sponsored by the CEC. The governor is seeking greenhouse gas reductions in the state, with the California Environmental Protection Agency and the CEC leading that effort. California and other Pacific Coast states are some of the most vulnerable regions, Schneider and others warned. The region is expected to be hit the "worst and first," said Mike Dettinger of the U.S. Geological Survey. Impacts to California from continued increases in carbon dioxide emissions include rising sea levels and possible increases in the number of very hot and very cold days, according to experts at the conference. Other expected impacts are a decrease in snowpack, which will affect summer water and hydro supplies, degraded air quality, lessened soil moisture, which will affect agriculture, and disturbances to wildlife and ecosystems. Schneider noted that the issue was not the changing climate but the rate at which the changes are occurring, impeding species' ability to adapt. He dismissed the frequent refrain about uncertainties associated with the science of climate change, particularly regarding the debate over how hot parts of the planet may become. "We have to deal with an uncomfortable level of uncertainty," he said.