California and New York highlight Climate Change and Clean Energy Leadership
Thursday, September 20, 2006, from Governor Schwarzenegger’s office – Gov. Schwarzenegger, who has led California’s charge to pass the state’s landmark greenhouse gas legislation, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg discussed ways that California and New York could collaborate in reducing greenhouse gas emissions during a tour of a fuel cell facility in the Silicon Valley.
“California has always led the nation and been on the cutting edge,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger. “After World War II, California led the nation in aerospace, designing the most advanced planes to defend our nation. Then, it was microprocessors, building the fastest processors to power our high tech industry. Hollywood has always led the world in making great movies. And now, Cleantech is the next industry our state will be at the forefront.”
Gov. Schwarzenegger has been a national and international leader in protecting the state’s environment. Later this month, he will sign AB 32, the state’s historic effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill will create a market-based system that makes California a world leader in the effort to reduce carbon emissions.
The Governor is also forging ahead with regional accords and international agreements that have made California a global leader. Last month at the 24th Annual Border Governors Conference, Governor Schwarzenegger called upon his fellow governors to take up the issue of creating a regional, market-based program to cap carbon emissions and the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions at the next meeting.
In July, the Governor signed a unique agreement with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to become partners and act aggressively to address climate change and promote energy diversity. At June’s meeting of the Western Governors Association, Gov. Schwarzenegger presented his Climate Action Team’s report on reducing greenhouse gases and called on the Western states to take a regional approach to meet energy needs while protecting the environment.
According to Governor Schwarzenegger’s office, these are the Governor’s accomplishments since taking office:
Climate Action Team
The Climate Action Team (CAT), made up of decision-makers from various state boards and departments, issued their first report in April 2006, outlining more than 40 strategies to reduce climate change emissions. The report is a blueprint for reaching the governor’s targets and includes reduction benefit’s from ongoing programs, as well as benefits from strategies that will require either administrative or legislative action.
California Solar Initiative
The Governor introduced the Million Solar Roofs Initiative which was adopted by the PUC in 2005. The Initiative is a joint program of the CPUC and the Energy Commission. The added use of solar power is expected to reduce emissions as much as 3 million metric tons per year by 2020.
California Hydrogen Highway Network
The California Hydrogen Highway Network (CaH2Net) is the Governor’s vision to build a network of hydrogen fueling stations, linked conveniently throughout the state. Hydrogen is a clean source of power for cars, trucks, and buses and can be made from renewable sources of energy.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
The CPUC and Energy Commission coordinates the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which calls for more energy to come from clean, renewable sources such as wind and sun. In 2003, the Governor called for an acceleration of the RPS to 20 percent by 2010 rather than 2017, a full seven years earlier than statute. In 2005, the Governor called for an acceleration of the RPS to 33 percent by 2020.
Sierra Nevada Conservancy
The Governor placed 25 million acres under conservation management in a region that produces 65 percent of the state’s water supply and half of all timber.
California Public Utilities Commission
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the state’s investor-owned utility regulator, requires them to consider the potential cost of their carbon emissions when buying electricity. While California does not have a cap on greenhouse gases, this practice helps the electricity sector prepare for the possibility of carbon limits on the electricity sector.
In 2005, the CPUC adopted the nation’s most aggressive energy efficiency investment, totaling $2 billion over the next 3 years. By 2008, the efficiency programs will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 3 million tons per year, equivalent to taking 650,000 cars off the road.
Bioenergy Interagency Working Group
The Bioenergy Interagency Working Group (BIWG), initiated by the Governor in 2005, is made up of decision-makers from various state boards and departments. The July 2006 report outlined strategies to increase the development, production, and use of bioenergy. When used as a transportation fuel, a gallon of cellulosic ethanol produces 70 percent fewer greenhouse gases than a gallon of gasoline.
In March 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the Breathe Easier campaign to help educate Californians about the effects of vehicle pollution and encourage participation in the state’s vehicle retirement program for gross polluters.
Protecting Californias Roadless Forests
Gov. Schwarzenegger filed a petition to begin the process to permanently protect 21 percent of Californias 18 national forests. This would keep 4.4 million acres off-limits to any further development.
State & Consumer Services Agency
The State and Consumer Services Agency (SCSA) implements the Green Building Initiative, an effort initiated by the Governor, to improve energy efficiency and promote green technologies such as recycled products, energy controls, and other clean strategies.