Senate democrats unveil climate change bill package

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 23, 2007 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Senate Democratic leadership introduced an eight-bill package on climate change that would go far beyond the landmark bill signed into law last year, AB 32 (Chapter 488) (Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles).

Governor Schwarzenegger’s press secretary immediately issued a statement, accusing them of "undermining" the AB 32 implementation process.  "We cannot abandon AB 32 just seven weeks after it became law.  We should work together to reduce climate change by implementing AB 32, not undermining it."

The bill package lays out an ambitious agenda.  Among the more significant bills:

Low-Carbon Fuel Standard – SB 210 (Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego) requires the California Air Resources Bill (CARB) to develop and administer a program to reduce the carbon content from transportation fuels sold and refined in California by 10 percent by 2020, and to implement a low-carbon fuel standard applicable to refiners, blenders, producers, and importers of transportation fuel.  The measure also requires the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to examine and address how investor-owned utilities can contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transportation sector.

Bio-Diesel Fuel – SB140 (Kehoe) requires CARB to conduct an assessment of bio-diesel fuel to ensure it maintains or improves environmental quality, and if the assessment concludes the use of renewable diesel is beneficial, CARB would be required to modify the definition of diesel to include 2 percent renewable diesel, then 5 percent two years later.

Utility Procurement of Renewable Energy – SB 411 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto) eliminates the current cap on the amount of renewable energy resources state energy agencies can order utilities to buy.  The measure authorizes the CPUC to order utilities to buy or build more renewable energy – up to 33 percent of their energy needs – in order to ensure the state meets its GHG emission goals.

CMTA is a member of the AB 32 Implementation Group, a broad based business coalition that is actively and constructively engaged in the AB 32 implementation process and working to ensure that GHG emission reductions required under AB 32 are achieved while maintaining the competitiveness of California businesses.  We will be watching these bills to ensure that these goals are achieved.

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