California's Bold Plan To Address Global Warming

Curtis Moore, a Republican, urges Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign global warming bills that could make California's approach a model for addressing the adverse impact of climate change.
September 5, 2006, 8am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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"With AB 32, California has become the first government I know of to attack greenhouse emissions without mandating a carbon 'cap-and-trade' system. 'Cap and trade' sets a standard for emissions, but it also allows companies to trade in the right to pollute up to that standard. That means companies that cut emissions can sell 'emission rights' to other companies that don't want to invest in cleaner technology. It doesn't eliminate pollution as much as create a market in it. Despite immense pressure from businesses and outspoken support of trading by some environmental groups, the Legislature has allowed carbon cap-and-trade but refused to mandate it...

Besides AB 32, California legislators have sent five other environmental bills to the governor to sign this month. One requires that electricity production create no more pollution than that associated with one of the most advanced generating technologies. Two others boost Schwarzenegger's 'million solar roofs' plan and fuel cells â€" which, when using hydrogen, produce only pure water and electricity, with zero pollution. Yet another law would impose a $30 fee for each container at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles â€" possibly the largest aggregate source of global warming pollution west of the Mississippi â€" to help pay for cleansing the air. And finally, the Legislature also passed a bill requiring that by 2020, at least 50% of new passenger cars and light-duty trucks be clean, alternative-fuel vehicles, such as hydrogen, plug-in hybrids and flex-fuel vehicles."

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Published on Sunday, September 3, 2006 in The Los Angeles Times
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