Governor Announces Greenhouse Gas Goals

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, June 3, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

At the United Nations World Environment Day ceremonies in San Francisco on Wednesday, June 1st, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for California.  The Governor called for a reduction of GHG to 2000 levels by 2010 (approximately 11 percent); a reduction to 1990 levels by 2020 (approximately 25 percent); and a reduction to 80 percent less than 1990 levels by 2050.

The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) will coordinate development and implementation of strategies to achieve the GHG reduction targets in conjunction with the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, the Secretary of the Department of Food and Agriculture, the Secretary of the Resources Agency, the Chairperson of the Air Resources Board, the Chairperson of the Energy Commission and the President of the Public Utilities Commission.  The Secretary of Cal/EPA must submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature by 2006, and biannually thereafter, on progress made, mitigation and adaptation proposals, and options for a GHG emission cap and trade system to reduce GHG in the most cost effective manner possible.

These goals are not as stringent through 2020 as those proposed by Assemblymember Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City) in his AB 1365.  He proposed a reduction of at least 7 percent by 2010 over 1990 levels and 10 percent by 2020 over 1990 levels.  Such reductions are not realistic considering the expansion of the California economy since 1990.
 
California has been a leader in adopting policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions.  The state boasts four times more renewable power than the national average and our industries are subject to the cleanest emission standards in the country.  

For manufacturers in California, meeting any new and aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets will be a challenge.  Current high business operating costs in the state will severely limit the ability of companies to both meet any new emission standards and remain competitive in the state.  California’s high costs include excessive taxes, fees, labor, litigation, and regulatory costs.  More than 350,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since January 2001, many to other states and nations.  The current laws, regulations and policies that are now forcing industry out of California will not help us achieve global emissions reductions.  In fact, moving industry to less regulated locations could result in total global emissions increases.  For this reason, it's important that a national policy be embraced that affects all states equally.

To ensure that manufacturers can absorb the new costs associated with meeting greenhouse gas reductions, it is vital that we lower other costs to keep investment and jobs in the state.  CMTA urges the administration and lawmakers to take steps to ensure that California manufacturers can remain competitive in California.

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