Schwarzenegger Expands Green Initiatives
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking his green initiatives to the other side of the country.
The governor was to announce an executive order Monday in New York that joins California's landmark global warming law with the Northeast's program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The order is the first step in creating a system that helps California's biggest manufacturers comply with stricter environmental regulations, a Schwarzenegger administration official said.
"Gov. Schwarzenegger wants to build a large, robust carbon trading market that will dramatically reduce emissions," said Schwarzenegger spokesman Adam Mendelsohn. "The more robust the market, the more effective we will be."
The Northeast system involves seven states that plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at power plants beginning in 2009. It allows power plants to trade emissions credits as a way to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in the region. Linking California to that program could help California power plants meet their obligations under the state's new global warming law.
The executive order "will now get the Northeast states working with California to trade credits in the very near future," Mendelsohn said.
It is Schwarzenegger's latest move to address global warming _ an issue that has often put the Republican governor at odds with the Bush administration. Schwarzenegger this summer urged the governors of Western states to join California in a regional trading system and signed an agreement with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to develop new technologies to combat global warming.
Schwarzenegger was to spend Monday in New York learning about corporate and government efforts to combat global warming, spokesman Darrel Ng said. The governor was to open trading on the Nasdaq stock market.
Schwarzenegger will also tour a carbon trading floor at Credit Suisse with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and visit the country's first "green" residential high-rise building with New York Gov. George Pataki, Ng said.
The two governors were to discuss ways to join California to the Northeast states' Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and create an emissions trading exchange.
Pataki helped craft the Northeast system after President Bush withdrew from the 160-nation Kyoto Protocol on global warming in 2001, saying it would hurt the U.S. economy.
Schwarzenegger, who is running for re-election in November, has touted California's 2006 global warming law as a key component of his environmental record. It has also distinguished him from Bush, who has said companies should voluntarily reduce emissions. Schwarzenegger opponent Phil Angelides, the Democratic state treasurer, has embraced the law.
California's global warming law imposes the country's first mandatory statewide cap on greenhouse gas emissions, a move that has been criticized by manufacturers and cement makers _ two of the largest emitters of the greenhouse gases that scientists blame for rising temperatures in many parts of the world.
In an effort to make the cap workable for businesses, Schwarzenegger has advocated setting up a market system that could enable the state's companies to buy, sell and trade emission credits instead of making their own reductions.
"Implementing a cap and trade and allowing manufacturers to offset some of the substantial costs will help manufacturers deal with the greenhouse gas mandate," said Gino DiCaro, a spokesman for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association.
Source: Associated Press