Thursday, August 31, 2006
California "catapulted" itself to the forefront of U.S. efforts to
fight global warming yesterday as it prepared to adopt the toughest laws in the nation on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has accused President George W. Bush of lacking leadership on climate change, said he reached a "historic agreement" with Democrats to make California a world leader in reducing carbon emissions. "The success of our system will be an example for other states and nations to follow as the fight against climate change continues," The bill now seems certain to win approval this week. MediaNews reported State Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Assembly Speaker
Fabian Nez, D-Los Angeles, who sponsored Assembly Bill 32, said they had the votes to pass the bill in the Democrat-dominated legislature by today's
wrapup of the year's legislative session. The Senate approved the bill late Wednesday night on a 23-14 vote along partisan lines, sending it
to the Assembly. Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia of San Diego said the bill will be passed with few GOP votes because AB32 is
"not the answer" to carbon emissions. "Adopting costly and unattainable regulations will drive businesses and jobs out of California into other
California is the world's eighth-biggest economy and the 12th largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. California's Global Warming Solutions Act provides for:
- emissions capped at 1990 level by 2020, a 25% reduction
- the California Air Resources Board (CARB) must require reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by large polluters by 2008
- CARB will set greenhouse gas emissions limits and reduction measures no later than 2011, to go into effect in 2012. Failure to comply will lead to penalties.
- CARB has authority to use market mechanisms to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions, including carbon credit trading, but creation of a cap-and-trade system is not mandatory.
- The governor can halt implementation of regulations for up to one year in the event of "extraordinary circumstances" like a natural disaster or economic crisis.
See this link for legislative history, legislative status, and a copy of the bill: California Global Warming Solutions Act