The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

October 15, 2008
California air board, after delay, releases plan to cut CO2 emissions

The California Air Resources Board has just released its proposed scoping plan for cutting greenhouse gases nearly 30 percent by 2020. The plan, likely to be controversial for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, originally was to be unveiled on Oct. 3. It was delayed for reasons I examined in an earlier post.

UPDATE: Reaction from environmental groups is all over the map. Read their statements, and one from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the jump.

Statements on today's release of the AB 32 scoping plan

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

"Despite a difficult economy, it is important that we move forward on our environmental goals, which is why I am pleased that in California we have put together a plan for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions that also boosts our economy. Conservative estimates show that implementing our plan to combat global warming will result in tens of thousands more jobs and a boost to California's gross domestic production--all while creating a healthier environment and increasing our energy efficiency. We are putting together a roadmap for the rest of the nation to follow--and our nation should follow California's lead in putting together a national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost and to create jobs in the emerging clean-technology and green-technology job sectors."

"The plan released today by the California Air Resources Board shows irreversible momentum in the fight against global warming. This is more than a pollution reduction plan; it's an economic stimulus plan. It's more important than ever during these uncertain times to make investments in clean energy solutions that will stimulate innovation, new businesses and job creation."

Audrey Chang, Natural Resources Defense Council:

"Not only is California making progress, so are other states. In the last month, eight states (including California) and four Canadian provinces released their plans to create a regional cap and trade system as part of the Western Climate Initiative, and six Northeastern states held their first auction to cut heat-trapping pollution from power plants as part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative."

Bernadette Del Chiaro, Environment California:

"California continues to take the national lead on fighting global warming. We applaud the California Air Resources Board for proposing a strong plan of action for reducing global warming pollution economy-wide in California. We are particularly appreciative of ARB's acknowledgement that auctioning 100% of the pollution allowances is the direction California should take. We are confident, once CARB develop the regulations for a cap and trade program in California that they will conclude that getting to 100% as quickly as possible makes the most sense."

Sierra Club:

"While the draft plan does limit emission offsets more than the draft did, it still allows almost half of emission reductions to come from offsets, from anywhere in the world - not just from California. This could allow pollution to continue in low-income communities that already carry a heavier burden of polluting industries. ARB still must put in place safeguards to assure that pollution trading and offsets do not harm air quality in those communities."

Union of Concerned Scientists:

"One area where CARB's plan falls short is its embrace of offsets, he said, which are credits that polluters in capped sectors can buy based on estimated reductions made by offset providers in uncapped sectors. In this way, offsets substitute for cuts that could have been made directly by polluters in the electricity, industrial, and transportation sectors that cap-and-trade directly addresses. Both CARB and WCI would allow approximately half of the required pollution reductions under a cap-and-trade system to occur through offsets."

Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon California

"This is the next important step in a critical process that will continue with a final decision by the full Air Board in December," said Mike Sweeney, director for the Nature Conservancy in California. "While many details still need to be resolved, this plan is a strong construct that will put California on the path of meeting its reduction targets with significant, positive impacts on California's environment and economy."

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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