Governor Schwarzenegger signs landmark climate bill

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27 September 2006

On Sept. 27, 2006, Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger will sign a piece of landmark legislation that has been agreed upon by a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, climate and energy scientists, activists and a cadre of industry leaders: Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.

AB32, introduced by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, D-Los Angeles, calls for a cap on greenhouse-gas emissions statewide, and a 25 percent reduction by 2020. More important than the target, which is itself dramatic, is the fact that California will establish emission controls on the largest industrial sectors, including utilities, oil refineries and cement manufacturing, and will leave the door open for market mechanisms - emissions trading, for example - to find the economically most-efficient ways to reduce global warming.

The giant Northern California utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), supports the bill, as do a wide range of Silicon Valley companies and venture capitalists, that have been investing heavily in the clean and renewable energy sector. In fact, recent research from UC Berkeley, as well as macroeconomic models of the state economy prepared for the California Environmental Protection Agency, both find that an investment in clean energy will likely bring economic benefits to the state in the form of significant numbers of new jobs and export opportunities for what is becoming known as the ''clean tech'' sector.

According to Speaker Núñez: "We've already taken action on clean air and tailpipe emissions - you name it, we've done it, and our economy continues to hold strong. It isn't mutually exclusive to have a strong economy and have a green economy as well."

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