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California out front again

The questions can be posed pretty starkly: if the voters in a place like California can reject carbon curbs, and by extension, the shift to a clean energy economy, what chance for success do the concepts have in the rest of the country?

If California backs away from clean energy, what happens to the rest of the United States?

California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill (AB) 32, was ahead of the curve and provided much of the momentum for federal controls of carbon emissions. AB 32 requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and now it's in danger of being rolled back.

Now, opponents have qualified a ballot initiative whose results could reverberate well beyond California's borders.

The questions can be posed pretty starkly: if the voters in a place like California can reject carbon curbs, and by extension, the shift to a clean energy economy, what chance for success do the concepts have in the rest of the country? Would Congress enact carbon curbs, and pre-empt the state where the policy presumably has the most support?

That was a prevailing sentiment, call it a fire alarm, if you will, sounded at the recent Renewable Energy Finance Forum - Wall Street (REFF). The New York gathering was a conference of more than 700 clean tech entrepreneurs, investors and renewable energy proponents held at the end of June.

The California Jobs Initiative makes... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

If California backs away from clean energy, what happens to the rest of the United States?

California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill (AB) 32, was ahead of the curve and provided much of the momentum for federal controls of carbon emissions. AB 32 requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and now it's in danger of being rolled back.

Now, opponents have qualified a ballot initiative whose results could reverberate well beyond California's borders.

The questions can be posed pretty starkly: if the voters in a place like California can reject carbon curbs, and by extension, the shift to a clean energy economy, what chance for success do the concepts have in the rest of the country? Would Congress enact carbon curbs, and pre-empt the state where the policy presumably has the most support?

That was a prevailing sentiment, call it a fire alarm, if you will, sounded at the recent Renewable Energy Finance Forum - Wall Street (REFF). The New York gathering was a conference of more than 700 clean tech entrepreneurs, investors and renewable energy proponents held at the end of June.

The California Jobs Initiative makes the case for its position rather bluntly on its web site.

"California produces only 1.4 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, so our efforts to address climate change (if even real) cannot be successful alone. AB 32's go-it-alone approach will impose massive costs on businesses that can be easily avoided by relocation across state or national boundaries."

The ballot initiative states that if high unemployment persists for a prescribed period of time, the climate law is effectively inoperative. AB 32 would be suspended until the unemployment rate remained below 5.5 percent for a year.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) was one of the first companies to come out in opposition to the ballot question when it was qualified last week.

"Studies show that unchecked climate change could cost California's economy alone tens of billions of dollars a year in losses to agriculture, tourism and other sectors. Thoughtful and balanced implementation of AB 32 is one of the most important opportunities we have to avoid this costly outcome while spurring new clean-tech investment, innovation and job creation in California," said Peter Darbee, chairman and CEO of PG&E.

In short, the entire renewable energy world will be watching.


Source: http://www.renewablesbiz.co...

JUL 12 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27199-california-out-front-again
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