About 60 percent of state greenhouse gas cuts are expected to come from regulations the California Air Resources Board adopts and enforces, agency chair Mary Nichols told an Assembly Budget Subcommittee April 30. The other 40 percent of the targeted 174 million metric tons of carbon reductions under California\u2019s climate protection law, AB 32, are expected to come from a mix of market measures, incentives, and fees, added Nichols. Developing regulations to establish any fees--carbon or otherwise, however--will take up to two years, Nichols said. \u201cIn the meantime, we will have to borrow funds,\u201d for the AB 32 rule development work, she added. Budget subcommittee chair Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City) accepted that, noting a fee program needs to be properly developed to avoid being \u201ccounterproductive.\u201d The governor\u2019s 2008-09 budget proposes giving the Air Board $23 million for its AB 32 work. The targeted source of the funds is the California Beverage Container Recycling Fund. The Legislative Analyst\u2019s Office objects to borrowing funds from the recycling fund because the Air Board has failed to propose viable long-term program funding. Nichols insisted that her agency\u2019s global warming solutions work strives to protect consumers. She pointed to the high price of gasoline and California efforts to curb consumption of fossil fuels, including under the tailpipe emissions law awaiting a federal waiver and via a carbon cap. \u201cWe are really working to prepare California for enormously high prices that may never go down again.\u201d One climate protection program criticized during the meeting was the Low Carbon Fuel Standard because of controversy around the impacts of biofuels, particularly corn-based ethanol. Using food crops to make biofuels has driven up the price of basic staples, exacerbating hunger. In addition, assessing the greenhouse gas emissions from various alternative fuels from start to finish has proven to be very complex. \u201cWe want to make it clear that the goal in pursuing [the low carbon transportation fuels standard] is not just biofuels, but a full array of opportunities\u201d including for electricity and hydrogen-powered vehicles, Nichols said. The Air Board\u2019s manager of low carbon transportation fuel, Bob Fletcher, added that the agency is evaluating the impacts of biofuels on greenhouse gases, water resources (both quantity and quality) and biodiversity. As in other legislative hearings, concerns were raised about environmental justice issues not being adequately incorporated into the rule development process. Environmental justice advocates complain that their issues have been largely ignored by the Air Board. That includes worries that using statewide data to determine various fuel impacts will not reflect harm to already heavily polluted communities, which are predominantly poor. Another concern is local impacts of corn-based ethanol plants that have sprouted up in the Central Valley.