California post-2020 greenhouse gas goals drive forum in Capitol

By CMTA Staff

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

This week, Assemblyman Bill Quirk hosted the first forum in the Capitol on California's post-2020 greenhouse gas (GHG) policies.   The California Air Resources Board is already looking to create a plan to impose deeper reductions beyond AB 32’s goal of 1990 levels by 2020.  The panel included the Legislative Analyst Office's Tiffany Roberts, National Resource Defense Council's Alex Jackson, CMTA's Dorothy Rothrock, and Assemblymembers Bill Quirk and Brian Dahle.

The overwhelming theme? Learn from our mistakes and successes to get the rest of the country to follow us in a broader GHG reduction plan -- an original goal of the bill in 2006.  Our success will depend on balancing the economy and jobs with the benefits of a broader program, and lots of homework -- likely in the form of a marginal cost analysis -- to make sure we leverage the lowest cost policies and dump or improve the costly ones to drive bigger reductions. 

On the whole, the panel was an excellent first step in terms of the Legislature taking responsibility for the implementation of existing and new AB 32 policies in the coming years.  They need our help in understanding the real costs of these programs and CMTA intends to help every step of the way.

We recorded a few key quotes from the panel below:

 

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Assemblyman Bill Quirk

"We need scalability.  For example, corn-based ethanol is not scalable yet."

"If we can eliminate all our GHG, it still wouldn't matter if our model is not replicable."

"If we make our manufacturing pay a high price for these credits, it will impact our economy very negatively."

"Legislators shouldn't be picking winners and losers. Markets must choose the technologies that are ready."

"On RPS, we realize we didn't really have proper info on availability and costs.  We need to put together models on where the power will be at what time."

"On LCFS, we need to balance technologies with scalability.  Getting plants up in time to meet the mandate will be very difficult.  I don't see LCFS succeeding unless we can scale up."

"We need to let technologies develop out of their current laboratory level."

"We need to 'oversight' this as much as we can."

 

Dorothy Rothrock, CMTA

"We must build manufacturing into our plan."

"Since 2006, we have been teetering on moving in the wrong direction and forgetting that it's not about the target for our in-state emissions that 's really important.  It's about showing you can grow your economy and reduce emissions at the same time and have that be the model that the world can adopt."

"The movement toward criteria pollutants is adding upward pressure on getting the job done for GHG reductions."

"A marginal cost analysis would provide the legislature with good choices. We might even need to look at other regulations that need to be beefed up."

"The timing is good to get this right, as manufacturers operate on five to ten year investment plans."

"Electricity rates are high in California and about to get higher.  Rates are 50 percent higher now for industry and utilities predict a 26 to 42 percent increase from RPS."

"The legislature needs to be much more rigorous in the next 'version' of AB 32."

"We need to make sure our high wage job base isn't impacted by new proposals."

"Any cost increase is too much for someone who loses a job."

"CARB must adopt an industry stakeholder group to inform their decisions."

"All of these things must be part of any post 2020 package."

 

Tiffany Roberts, LAO

"We must analyze how far we have come and then incorporate that with our path forward."

"The theory of market mechanism was supposed to embrace offsets."

"Going forward we need a marginal cost analysis, so we know the most cost-effective options for reducing GHG. For every dollar we invest, what unit of reduction are we getting?"

"CARB does not currently have legal authority to move past 2020."

 

Alex Jackson, NRDC

This is about California developing a model that is replicable."

"Being smart is the key here.  We're doing that.  We reward people who keep their emissions in California.  But we can't over-compensate for leakage."

"Moving forward, we need to stick with the policies we have in place."

"We must have signals like LCFS to reward companies to bring these technologies online."

"On efficiency, we need to do more on metrics and savings after the fact, no doubt."

"Cost containment is important, and we're doing that.  The cost containment reserve issue was addressed yesterday."

"Certainty is important."

"AB 32 has been a model of transparency."

"California's high electricity costs are not only a result of efficiency policies." 

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