Schwarzenegger signs historic global warming
emissions reduction bill
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is joined by New York Governor
George Pataki, Speaker Fabian Núñez (D- 46th District),
PG&E CEO Tom King and Mayor Gavin Newsom for the singing of
Assembly Bill 32 that aims to reduce California emissions by 25
by the year 2020.
By Elizabeth Daley, Bay City News Service
September 28, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed
legislation that promises to reduce California's emissions by
25 percent by the year 2020 into law yesterday on Treasure Island
in San Francisco.
According to Bay Area Air Quality District Vice Chair Mark Ross,
however, the real challenges come in implementing Assembly Bill
32 and forcing non-compliant industries to adhere.
"That's where it's going to take the political leadership
to carry it through, because there will be a lot of political
pressure set forth to impede AB 32," Ross said.
Jerry Martin, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) said, "We have a good relationship with the industries
considering that we are regulators and they do not want to be
Regarding the possibility of lawsuits, Martin said, "I can't
predict who will sue and who won't, that certainly is a possibility
if someone thinks their ox is being gored."
Ross said citizens as well as large companies may be "forced
to pay more for energy efficiency," and that many larger
industries may fight California as the auto industry did earlier
this year. However, Ross thinks the global community will benefit
in the future if the state reduces its energy consumption now.
The new bill requires CARB to establish a statewide greenhouse
gas emissions cap for 2020 by Jan. 1, 2008, adopt mandatory reporting
rules for significant sources of greenhouse gasses and create
a plan to reduce emissions. Martin said the whole process "probably
won't be up to speed till next spring, we probably have to hire
up to 100 people."
Ross said the bill might present special challenges to certain
industries such as the cement industry, which, by the nature of
cement production processes, regularly emits high levels of carbon
Schwarzenegger said in a statement, "some have challenged
whether AB 32 is good for businesses. I say unquestionably it
is good for businesses. Not only large well-established businesses,
but small businesses that will harness their entrepreneurial spirit
to help us achieve our climate goals. Using market-based incentives,
we will reduce emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by the
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Martin said he expects California to lead a nationwide and possibly
global trend. Martin said California would be the epicenter of
this movement, and local energy efficient businesses could gain
a great deal of business as other states follow suit.
"A lot of businesses that will support this movement --
which may become nationwide -- will be based in California,"
According to the governor's office, the bill states that prior
to imposing any mandates or authorizing market mechanisms, CARB
must evaluate several factors, including impacts on California's
economy, the environment and public health; equity between regulated
entities; electricity reliability and conformance with other environmental
laws. CARB must also ensure that the rules do not disproportionately
impact low-income communities.
Ross applauded Schwarzenegger for following the Kyoto Protocol
and said he hopes this bill will set an example for the rest of
the country and the world. According to Ross, "it's going
to take creative application of existing technology and new technology
to aid these goals and we will have to spend political and economic
capital to attain these goals."
Ross added, "How much will each industry have to scale back
and how will they do that? These are the hard questions that need
to be answered."
Mayor Gavin Newsom greets Gov. Schwarzenegger at a pre-signing
Mayor Gavin Newsom, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker
Fabian Núñez and Governor George Pataki (NY).
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera (left)
British Prime Minister Tony Blair beamed in live via satellite
... Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi also beamed in.
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