August 14, 2006

CALIFORNIA: AB 32 - Capping Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Capping greenhouse gas emissions (ghg) is seen as the cure for global warming. California is, once again, the crucible for grinding out legislation to deal with its responsibility as the largest contributor of ghg within the nation.

Assembly Member Pavley, who also wrote California’s “Clean Cars Law,” which requires a 30% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, says AB 32 is the “next logical step” for California in addressing climate change.

Here are some excerpts from an overview published by the environmental law offices of the Marten Law Group...


California Considers Statewide Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Marten Law Group

The California legislature is considering a bill that would make California the first state in the country to impose a binding limit on greenhouse gas emissions. Assembly Bill 32 (“AB 32”), also known as the “Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006,” would implement an enforceable statewide cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The cap would be phased in beginning in 2012 and would gradually reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

AB 32 does not include details as to how the emissions cap would be phased in, what sources would be covered, or what types of policies would be used to reach the stated emission reduction goals. Rather, the bill directs the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) to identify all significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the state and to adopt regulations establishing a mandatory monitoring and reporting system for these sources. AB 32 also instructs CARB to adopt regulations “that will reduce statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.”

The California Chamber of Commerce was blunt in its opposition to the bill stating that AB 32 “increases the costs for California businesses, makes them less competitive, and discourages economic growth with little or no proven environmental benefit.”

Governor Schwarzenegger has not yet taken a position on AB 32.

Passage of AB 32 could have implications for other states. Since the passage of the “Clean Cars Law” by California in 2002, ten other states, including Washington, have adopted similar legislation. AB 32 could have the same type of domino effect, particularly since the west coast governors have, in recent years, attempted to develop joint climate protection strategies.

Another view: AB 32 is a bad idea for state's environment
Sacramento Bee Editorial

Related information from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):

Global Warming Basics
What it is, how it's caused, and what needs to be done to stop it.

California Takes on Global Warming
A new bill from a trendsetting state would set limits on global warming pollution and promises an economic boost.

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Carolyn Allen said...

We all will have to set pretty draconian goals for ourselves to meet those goals -- thank you for the heads up. I appreciate your inside understanding. I'll link to your articles on as we explore SoCal energy issues.

Carolyn Allen said...

southern california, sustainability, alternative energy