CARB seeks to infuse empty global warming enforcement budget

| 3/6/2008

The clean air agency that proudly accepts credit for attacking global warming emissions may be faced with a new problem – an empty piggy bank.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on March 4 that the California Air Resources Board needs long-term money to sustain its aggressive emissions cuts for trucks, factories vacuum cleaners, and others who emit greenhouse gases.

California legislators approved AB32 in 2006. The law requires the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020, and to meet stricter standards by 2050.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed a two-year budget plan that would borrow $67 million from the state’s beverage can and bottle recycling fund so CARB can pay for its global warming program.

The proposal was roundly criticized by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland.

“The administration is punting yet again on finding a reliable funding source for arguably one of the most important pieces of legislation the governor has signed to date,” the Chronicle quoted Perata. “I’d like to make sure that there’s something coming out of this budget that works for AB 32.

CARB is scheduled to release its “scoping plan” for AB32 in June.

California’s $8 billion budget deficit for the next fiscal year has been tied to the state’s weakening economy.