California Enacts America's First Cap On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Gov. Schwarzenegger, flanked by New York Gov. Pataki, and British Prime Minister Tony Blair by telecast, signed the landmark global warming emissions bill, AB 32, making California the first state to place a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.
September 28, 2006, 4pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The new law, the first of its kind in the nation, could lead to a dizzying array of changes in industry and elsewhere that will be seen in cities, on farms and on freeways.

During the next decade, state regulators could require more public transportation, more densely built housing, a major new investment in projects that tap into the wind and sun to generate electricity, millions of new trees and even new ways for farmers to handle animal waste."

"You are showing brilliant leadership that will inspire people around the world,'' said British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who predicted that the new California law would spur a larger global market that allows companies to buy and sell emissions credits. Blair noted the law could encourage similar laws in "states within the United States of America as well, and hopefully in time from the whole of America.''

"Key points of AB32, signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger:

-- Reduction: California is required to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by about 25 percent by 2020.

-- Restrictions: The California Air Resources Board will develop a plan by 2009 outlining reductions that must be made by industrial sources such as utilities, power plants, manufacturers and cement makers.

-- Trade system: Regulators can develop a market-based program to help industries that might not be able to meet the new targets. The system could allow a California company to buy credits for emission reductions made elsewhere in the world.

-- Regulations: By 2011, the state air board is required to adopt regulations to meet the 2020 reductions; by 2012, it is to begin enforcing limits and reduction measures.

-- Delays: The governor can delay the cap deadline by one year in the event of extraordinary circumstances, catastrophic events or threat of significant economic harm.

-- In addition ... The governor has indicated he will sign SB1368 by Senate leader Don Perata, D-Oakland, which would prohibit utilities in the state from buying electricity from high-polluting power plants."

{Editor's note, see "Other Global Warming bill", http://www.planetizen.com/node/21101}

Thanks to Jennifer Alverson

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Published on Thursday, September 28, 2006 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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