Gino DiCaro

Global warming bill passes key hurdle

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, June 30, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The long-awaited hearing on AB 32 (Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles) in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee took place on June 26, and as expected, the bill passed out on a party-line vote, with Republicans casting the only two "no" votes.

AB 32, as amended on June 22, codifies the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2005 executive order, caps GHG emissions and requires the California Air Resources Board to institute a mandatory GHG emission reporting and tracking system.  

Last year, the Governor issued an executive order that establishes GHG reduction targets for the state, as follows: reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2010; 1990 levels by 2020; and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.  AB 32 requires the California Air Resources Board to gradually impose a limit between 2010 and 2020, followed by still larger emission cuts in later years.

AB 32 attempts to address global warming by placing the burden squarely on the backs of California workers and the California economy.  California manufacturers are the most energy efficient in the country, providing high-wage jobs for California families.  Capping California greenhouse emissions will not solve global warming and will likely drive middle income jobs - and greenhouse gas emissions - to states and nations without a cap.  Governor Schwarzenegger's own Climate action Team notes that if the state implements a program "without other states, there will be an incentive for production to shift to other states to avoid the cap" and a situation will arise in which "emissions may decline in the state, only to increase in other states."  As a result, it should come as no surprise when developers of new energy technologies and other advanced manufacturers choose to build their plants and hire employees outside California.  Instead of the approach in AB 32, CMTA urges legislators to create incentives for manufacturers to remain in California and adopt new technologies to meet the Governor's targets.

For CMTA and the other members of the "Sustainable Environment and Economy for California Coalition" (SEE California), our top priority is to ensure that efforts to reduce GHG emissions in California are accomplished in a manner that will not jeopardize our state's economy, jobs and energy supply.

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