Schwarzenegger signs effort to cap emissions in California

| 10/2/2006

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that makes California the first state to set its own cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

“We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late,” Schwarzenegger said during an address before the bill-signing Wednesday, Sept. 27.

The effort takes several steps during the next 14 years to reduce emissions at such locations as power plants and oil refineries.

The new law, previously AB32, is intended to cap greenhouse gas emissions – widely blamed for global warming – at 1990 levels by 2020. If achieved, it would reduce emissions in the state by about 25 percent.

Sponsored by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, the bill also requires the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations to require reporting of emissions from the biggest polluters by 2008.

The senior vice president for the California Trucking Association recently told “Land Line Now” on XM Satellite Radio that she didn’t believe the new regulations would affect truck drivers or trucking companies.

“I don’t think the regulations will impact trucking. They’re going to impact the energy companies,” said Stephanie Williams of Caltrux. “It’s a stationary source fight against the mobile source community. They’re putting the regulations on the stationary sources.”

Supporters say the new law is a step forward in fighting global climate change, The Associated Press reported. Some opponents say it would increase costs and force businesses to scale back their operations in the state while others say climate change should be addressed at the national level, not on a state-by-state basis.

The new law also authorizes CARB to start measuring the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions coming from major pollution sources. Limits are required to be put in place by 2012.

An emergency provision also is in place to allow the governor to delay implementation of the regulations for up to one year in the event of “extraordinary circumstances, catastrophic events or threat of significant economic harm.”