Business Community Supports AB 32, Amidst End-of-Session Legislative Attacks.
By Susan Frank, Director, California Business Alliance for a Green Economy
The California Legislature just completed its last week of summer session, but anyone who spends time regularly in or around Sacramento knows that these final days can create a level of pandemonium not seen the rest of the year. Not surprisingly, longtime opponents of California’s landmark clean energy and climate law, AB 32, are taking advantage of the chaos to try various legislative and regulatory tactics that would gut the law. In reality, these opposition forces see AB 32 as a threat to their outdated, business-as-usual approach to fossil fuels.
Well, the mainstream business community isn’t buying it. While Western States Petroleum Association and their friends claim that the “sky is falling” as a result of AB 32, businesses in other economic sectors – including car companies and utilities – are already doing their part to cut carbon pollution. That’s because businesses know how to adapt and become more competitive, and they understand that our economy will be more stable, reliable, and resilient with more and better energy options.
There is one major non-legislative milestone happening this month to help reduce carbon pollution: the California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a practice auction of greenhouse gas (GHG) allowances on August 30 as part of its planned launch of a cap and trade program, a key component of AB 32.
Despite what you might hear from those who would like to derail the cap and trade program, it is only a small part of AB 32 – contributing 16 percent of the emissions reductions – with the rest coming from the state’s Advanced Clean Cars Standards (27 percent), Renewable Energy Standard (19 percent), Energy Efficiency (12 percent), Low Carbon Fuel Standard (13 percent), SB 375/Smart Growth (3 percent), Forestry (4 percent) and High Global Warming Potential Measures (7 percent). Plus, just 360 businesses (600 facilities by 2015) will be covered statewide by the cap and trade program.
Mechanisms for Reducing Carbon Emissions Under AB32
The voters spoke clearly in 2010 when they resoundingly defeated Proposition 23, which would have killed AB 32 and the jobs, innovation and investments that have come with it. A recent Public Policy Institute of California poll shows that 71 percent of voters support AB 32 and requiring fuel providers to reduce carbon in fuels. It’s clear, despite the rhetoric coming from those opposed to decreasing our dependence on petroleum, that our state’s residents and business leaders support moving forward with realizing a clean energy future. Let’s hope our leaders in Sacramento are listening to the voices that believe in a cleaner, better California.