SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday issued the following statement applauding the U.S. Senate for blocking the Murkowski resolution and upholding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to fight global climate change by enforcing the Clean Air Act and the new federal vehicle emissions standard modeled after California’s nation-leading standard:
“I applaud the U.S. Senate for rejecting this attempt to block national clean energy efforts, even as oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of trying to go backwards, Congress should be helping the nation move forward and prepare for the clean energy economy of the 21st century.
“California is leading the way in enacting ambitious policies and programs that are reducing our dependency on oil, growing our green economy and combating climate change. And, because of our forward-thinking policies, some of the most advanced technology companies in the world are investing in California and creating jobs. I urge Congress to continue moving forward to pass a comprehensive federal clean energy plan this year.”
California has been a national leader in the fight against global warming, passing laws like AB 1493 by now Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica), which required California to establish new standards for motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions beginning in model year 2009. Since taking office, the Governor has aggressively pursued the enforcement of the Pavley law for California to enact and enforce emissions standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The state filed a lawsuit against the U.S. EPA in 2008 to overturn its decision denying California’s waiver request to enforce the state’s tailpipe emissions standards after the California Air Resources Board requested the waiver in 2005. The U.S. EPA granted California’s waiver in June 2009.
Last September, the Obama Administration announced the U.S. EPA will adopt a vehicle emissions standard modeled after California’s first-in-the-nation standard.
Governor Schwarzenegger has a strong and proven commitment to expanding California’s clean energy that will create jobs, influence national policies and provide a cleaner environment for future generations. In March, the Governor joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in announcing a new joint program to make it easier to conserve land for endangered species and for developers to build renewable energy projects in California. The program, created by SB X8 34, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and signed by the Governor, will help further streamline and speed up the permitting and siting process for large-scale renewable energy projects that will provide jobs and greater energy independence and attract investment. Other actions to promote clean, renewable energy in California include:
•Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): Governor Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020. This will ensure California will have the flexibility needed to use renewable energy sources for 33 percent of our energy consumption by 2020 and places the highest priority on renewable resources that will provide the greatest environmental benefits that can be developed quickly and support reliable, efficient and cost-effective electricity system operations including resources and facilities located throughout the Western Interconnection.
•Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32): AB 32 established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions. The law will reduce carbon emissions in California to 1990 levels by 2020. Mandatory caps will begin in 2012 for significant sources and ratchet down to meet the 2020 goals. The Governor has also called for the state to reduce carbon emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050.
•Million Solar Roofs Initiative: The Governor’s $2.9 billion incentive plan for home and building owners who install solar electric systems, now known as the California Solar Initiative, will lead to one million solar roofs in California by the year 2018, provide 3,000 megawatts of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons.
•Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS): California’s LCFS requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in the state, dramatically expanding the market for alternative fuels. To start, the LCFS will reduce carbon content in all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by at least 10 percent by 2020 and more thereafter.