While climate change experts met in Sacramento to discuss the changing state policy landscape since the Legislature approved AB 32, U.S. Democratic senators promoted a bill to reduce fossil-fuel imports and spur development of renewable and energy-efficient technologies. The bill, however, is pending in Congress and lacks the necessary support. AB 32 was approved because it was clear that California could not wait for a national or global proposal to cut global warming gases because of regional climate impacts unique to the state, said Dan Cayan, scientist with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "There are different parts of the landscape that have their own individual responses," he said during the California Energy Commission's third annual climate change conference. "This is not an end-of-century phenomenon," he said September 14. "We are in it, damn it." The warming earth has led to a rise in the "intensity, duration, and frequency of extreme events in California and the rest of the world," including heat storms, said Benjamin Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. "We have a moral imperative to understand and solve these problems," he said. Climate change impacts in California are estimated to drive up electricity costs by $100 billion by 2020, according to Shankar Prasad, deputy secretary at the California Environmental Protection Agency. Water supply costs are projected to soar $10 billion over the next 50 years, and agriculture will face up to a $50 billion hit over the next half-century if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed. James Hansen, veteran National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist, warned that business as usual will produce "a different planet." During his September 13 talk, Hansen applauded passage of California's AB 32, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants and other large industrial polluters by 25 percent by 2020 (Circuit, Sept. 1, 2006). Not controlling greenhouse gases will result in a 3 degree centigrade rise in temperature, causing an estimated loss of half the world's living species, according to Hansen, who began warning about global warming two decades ago. He urged moving toward renewable energy and phasing in a carbon tax to help clean the air and cool the planet. Also on September 14, Democratic senators from Washington, New York, and Michigan together touted the Clean Energy Development for a Growing Economy Act before Congress for its job creation potential and economic, security, and environmental benefits. The legislation would require that one-tenth of U.S. electricity be supplied by renewable resources and that petroleum consumption be slashed 40 percent by 2020. It would eliminate billions of dollars in subsidies for the oil industry, too. Support for the measure is growing, but it is limited to the minority party. Enactment of the bill would allow lawmakers to become "energy leaders and not energy laggards," said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) during a Thursday press conference. According to a report released by the Apollo Alliance, which sponsored the press conference, implementation of the federal clean-energy legislation would create $50 billion in combined private and public investments and 530,000 jobs. "The Act's wind energy provisions would generate nearly half of the total 245,000 jobs," according to the Apollo report, Clean Energy Development for a Growing Economy. The top job winner would be California, with 54,000 new jobs, followed by Texas, generating 38,000 jobs. The Clean EDGE Act also would require half of new vehicles to burn both gas and ethanol by 2015. The report is available at apolloalliance.org.