Making WCI’s efforts on climate change more public

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 6, 2013 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

A bill, AB 527 (Beth Gaines, R-Rocklin) to increase transparency and accountability of the Western Climate Initiative, Incorporated (WCI, Inc.), supported by CMTA, passed it’s house-of-origin deadline last Friday.

The WCI began in February 2007 when the Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington signed an agreement directing their respective states to develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, participate in a multi-state registry to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions in the region, and develop a market-based program to reach the target. In the following years, the Governors of Montana and Utah along with the Premiers of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec joined in. In 2011, all states except California withdrew as partners. 

WCI, Inc. was then formed to provide administrative and technical services to support the implementation of state and provincial greenhouse gas emissions trading programs. According to their web site, WCI, Inc. will develop a compliance tracking system that tracks both allowances and offsets; administer allowance auctions; and conduct market monitoring of allowance auctions and offset certificate trading. The Board of Directors includes officials from the provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, and public officials from the State of California. California’s Directors, civil servants acting within their official job capacities, are: Matt Rodriguez, Secretary for Environmental Protection; Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board; Kip Lipper, staff to California State Senate President Pro Tempore (Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento); and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).

California businesses and industries are being forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to meet AB 32 compliance obligations through participation in the cap-and-trade.  Some of those funds will be used by the WCI, Inc. to fund its administrative and technical support in developing and maintaining systems for emissions trading programs. 

By requiring WCI, Inc. to comply with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, the California Public Records Act and annual reporting requirements, the state will ensure that the funds are subject to accounting and public review and will provide necessary legislative oversight.  CMTA continues to advocate for its passage. 

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