(Jun 21, 2007)


California leads climate change action


By Samantha Young
From AP


While California has moved aggressively to address climate change, it also has borrowed ideas from others. In the Northeast, for example, seven states began an effort in 2003 to cap emissions from power plants. Europe has been testing carbon trading systems since 2005.

Nevertheless, other states are pointing to California as the next model on global warming. In February, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed an executive order patterned after California's greenhouse gas emissions law.

In May, Utah became the sixth state to join a Western coalition, initiated by Schwarzenegger, that will set a regional target for emissions.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has said she hopes to model federal legislation after California's emissions law.

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger and California lawmakers want to do even more. The governor has asked state air regulators to adopt a low-carbon fuel standard, while Democrats are pushing for increased use of alternative fuels, issues that have seeped into the presidential campaigns.

The state also is demanding more of its cities and counties. Attorney General Jerry Brown has sued San Bernardino County in Southern California for failing to control urban sprawl in its 25-year growth plan, noting that transportation is the state's major source of greenhouse gases.

Carl Pope, executive director of the San Francisco-based Sierra Club, said California's political leaders have seized on the momentum and don't want to relinquish it.

''Other states are fumbling over each other to catch up with us,'' he said, ''and Washington is brain-dead on the issue.''


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