FROM Mary Nichols
Air Quality Politics Shakeup On Friday , the Republican-controlled board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District fired its longtime executive director, Barry Wallerstein. He was seen as too tough on industry. The South Coast AQMD is responsible for setting air pollution policy across much of southern California, affecting nearly half of the state’s population. The board had been controlled by Democrats for many years, but that changed in November. Friday’s decision to dismiss Barry Wallerstein was a straight party-line vote, 7-6.
California Launches Cap and Trade Program with First Auction Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 , which put California into the cap and trade business. Today for the first time, so called "carbon credits" went on sale to manufacturers, utilities and other polluters, allowing them to continue discharging carbon dioxide into the environment — but for a price. As time goes on, the credits will cost them more, with the goal of reducing emissions back to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Only Europe has a bigger cap and trade program, and California may be out on a limb. At his news conference today, President Obama said he wants a green economy to fight against climate change, but that other priorities are paramount.
The Future of Renewable Energy in California Google is investing 94 million dollars in solar plants in Northern California, but will other companies follow suit? California’s leading the nation in dealing with climate change—but that’s driving up the cost of electrical power. Will higher energy cost drive new investment out of state—including the money needed to fund more alternative sources?
California Report from UN Climate Summit in South Africa The Kyoto Protocols will expire next year, but no member of Congress made the trip to the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, where almost 200 nations are trying to hammer out a new international policy. But Mary Nichols, head of California's Air Resources Board is on the scene. This week, a court approved CARB's new cap-and-trade plan , worked out after former Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 32.
California Takes the Lead against Global Warming California's Air Resources Board has unanimously adopted a so-called " Cap and Trade " scheme to implement Assembly Bill 32 , signed by former Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006. Governor Brown supports it enthusiastically, and last November, voters defeated Proposition 23 , an oil-company sponsored initiative to kill it once and for all. The New York Times said last week's Board meeting "was such a well-oiled exercise in democracy and administrative procedures that the momentousness of the occasion was almost lost in the footnotes."
Obama to Let California, Other States Have Way on Emissions President Obama today moved to grant California the option of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, something the state's been asking for since 2002. Under the Clean Air Act , California can ask for a waiver allowing it to impose tougher mileage requirements than the federal government.
Governor Schwarzenegger Hosts Global Climate Conference For the past two days, hundreds of people from all over the world have been in Los Angeles for Governor Schwarzenegger's Global Climate Summit . He and his aides said they wanted to showcase of what's already being done about global warming and lay the foundation for a new international climate treaty. Mary Nichols chairs the California Air Resources Board.
Court Battle Looms as EPA Says ‘No’ To California Emission Plan Late last night, the Environmental Protection Agency denied California’s request to set its own vehicle standards for controlling emissions of greenhouse gases. Today at the White House, President Bush defended that action. The Washington Post says that in issuing yesterday’s denial of California’s request, the EPA Administrator over-ruled his own legal staff. It told him in a PowerPoint presentation that if the state went to court, “the EPA would be likely to lose the suit.”
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.