California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined his colleagues in Oregon and Washington late last week to endorse a West Coast climate protection plan that aims to establish an interstate cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants and potentially energy-intensive industries. The policy also calls for Oregon and Washington to incorporate stringent energy-efficiency standards for buildings and appliances already on the books or under development in California. ?California has been a leader in the efforts to combat global warming,? said Schwarzenegger in announcing the plan. Washington governor Gary Locke added, ?As a region, we can have a significant impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases.? The state executives pledged to consider setting a West Coast goal for greenhouse gas emission reductions that would be administered under a cap-and-trade program, particularly for electric utilities. A background study for the governors by the Tellus Institute indicated that industry could save more in reduced fuel use than it would cost to install the equipment needed to reduce those emissions. Under the strategy, the three states would defend their right to set energy-efficiency standards for products not already covered by the federal government. It would also require manufacturers to independently certify to the Western states that their products meet both the federal and stricter new state standards. States would adopt standards for some 8 to 14 products not covered by federal energy-efficiency standards, such as traffic signals, commercial ice makers, torch?re lamps, commercial clothes washers, and prerinse spray valves used in dishwashing lines at restaurants and cafeterias. Prerinse spray valves are highly inefficient, wasting loads of hot water as dishes are rinsed before being washed. Energy- and water-efficient models cost just $5 more than conventional models and begin saving food service operations money within days. Washington and Oregon will adopt the same version of the standards that the California Energy Commission is preparing to adopt for these and other appliances. Liz Klumpp, senior energy analyst for the Washington Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development, said that the highly efficient models should be given away because of the energy savings. In another move, the states would seek to increase energy efficiency in public buildings by 15 percent by 2015. Ultimately, the governors envision developing ?net-zero? homes with ?integrated renewable resources.? In a push for more renewable power, the states pledged to support extension for at least 10 years of the federal wind production tax credit, which recently was extended through 2005. The measure also made a production tax credit available to other renewable resources, from solar power to new hydropower and biomass energy. The states also made a commitment to push for a renewables portfolio standard at the federal level. In unveiling the policy, the governors said they will urge their public utilities commissions to adopt the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System reporting requirements and will work to ?influence? the Western Interconnection to give priority to grid expansion projects that support renewable resource projects. The West Coast states pledged to set renewable power purchase goals for their respective state and local agencies as well. In an initial move toward developing a carbon allowance standard, the trio said they will become ?formal observers? of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the Northeast, where states already have established goals and are designing a cap-and-trade program to meet them.