CLIMATE CHANGE ROUNDUP: AB 32 Gets a Lift and Break

By Published On: April 30, 2010

California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Linda Adams is urging Californians to support the state’s climate protection law AB 32 by signing a petition opposing the ballot measure aimed at emasculating the law. “Your help will not only support our growing green economy, but will also help California for a better tomorrow,” gubernatorial-appointee Adams wrote in an April 28 email. Her boss, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, also upped his opposition to the oil company backed ballot initiative, which seeks to freeze AB 32 enactment until there is a thaw in the state’s jobless rate. He criticized the companies in recent media interviews. “We are all waiting for the economy to get better, but in the meantime, suspending a law that has increased jobs, investments, innovation and public consciousness does not serve the people of California,” Adams added. “This was done without state resources and on her personal time,” said Steven Maviglio, coordinator of Stop the Dirty Energy, the initiative’s opponent. “Public officials routinely endorse and oppose ballot measures all the time, and we are pleased to have the state’s top environmental official oppose the . . . dirty energy proposition.” * * * * * The California Legislative Analyst recommends the Legislature ensure that the California Air Resources Board devotes sufficient staff and resources to analyzing the economic effects of the state’s climate change law, AB 32. Economic analysis of regulations under the law is “challenging and labor-intensive,” the office stated in a report issued earlier this month, Implementation of AB 32--Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Given the agency’s past analyses have suffered from “insufficient” staffing, the office recommends that the Legislature require the Air Board to present a specific resource plan for AB 32 economic analysis, outlining plans for staffing and outside contractors. The report further recommends that the Air Board undertake a “zero-based” budget process for its AB 32 program beginning in fiscal year 2011-12. The Air Board should completely justify expenditures at that point because it will shift from planning and rulemaking needed to carry out the law to actual enforcement of greenhouse gas reduction requirements, observed the office. The zero-based approach is needed, the office said, to make sure the fees that fund the AB 32 program actually are aligned with real expenses. * * * * * The League of California Cities declined to seek a delay of AB 32, the state’s climate change law. The issue came to the league’s board at an April 22 meeting, during which the organization also did not affirmatively support the law. Instead, the League continues to work “to make sure the implementation of AB 32 is done with respect for the challenges facing our private employers who are key to the recovery of our economy,” president, and Hemet city council member, Robin Lowe stated April 23. The League said it recognizes the need to immediately reduce greenhouse gases, but did not take a position when the Legislature passed AB 32 in 2006. It still maintains a “no position” on the law. The group of city representatives issued the statement after its board put off voting on the recommendation of a special league task force and several committees calling for a postponement in enforcing AB 32. The panel also called for suspension of SB 375, which makes local government accountable for cutting greenhouse gases through comprehensive land-use and transportation planning. However, the League’s board did not endorse that call, but still maintains that the state should compensate cities for the cost of carrying out SB 375, viewing the law as an unfunded mandate. * * * * * In a reversal of Joni Mitchell’s line, “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot,” the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History--the one that “took all the trees . . . and charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see them”--is tearing up a parking lot to put in a garden. Cars still will be welcomed, though they’ll be garaged in a new “Car Park.” It is being designed, the museum said in an April 22 statement, as “a nature-filled structure that will feature a canopy of flowering vines and hummingbird and butterfly habitats creating a ‘park’ like setting instead of a stark concrete parking garage.”

Share this story

Not a member yet?

Subscribe Now