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Celebrate AB 32: We May Have Helped on Global Warming Bill

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  • Felix Kramer
    On August 30, California s Governor and legislative leaders reached agreement on final language for Assembly Bill 32 to make California the first state to
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2006
      On August 30, California's Governor and
      legislative leaders reached agreement on final
      language for Assembly Bill 32 to make California
      the first state to address greenhouse gases
      comprehensively. This paves the way for final
      passage and signature of the California Global
      Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Bringing a plug-in
      hybrid to Sacramento at a critical moment as part
      of a powerhouse delegation may have helped win the day!

      People tell me, "AB 32 gives me hope. So often I
      feel the problem is too big. This actually does
      something. And states can be a model for action."
      In the wake of AB 1493, the bill enacted in 2002
      to curb greenhouse gases from cars, and the
      Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that
      could reduce power-plant CO2 emissions 24 million
      tons, this bill covering the state's entire
      economy will reduce them by over 170 million tons.

      The campaign for the bill was led by the Natural
      Resources Defense Council and the Environmental
      Defense Fund, with Environmental Entrepreneurs
      founder Bob Epstein devoting most of his life to
      the effort for well over a year. (In the halls of
      the Capitol, he can say hi to everyone.)

      Two weeks ago, we posted a report
      with details about the legislation and the story
      of my joining an August 16 Greentech Innovation
      Network delegation to Sacramento on behalf of
      the bill. You can see a photo of our group at
      http://www.calcars.org/globalwarming.html -- the
      rest of the page needs an update! When I showed a
      photograph of my PHEV parked a few blocks away,
      describing it as an example of California
      innovation, and picked up the electrical "dongle"
      I carry with me to "show the infrastructure,"
      legislators all day and and press conference attendees perked up.

      The media reported that John Doerr of Kleiner
      Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) convincingly
      predicted a wave of new clean-energy
      technology</a>, saying entrepreneurs "are going
      to go out and compete and innovate to bring
      enormous solutions to the market" if the bill
      became law.

      We were hoping our strategically-timed appearance
      during final negotiations would counter organized
      opponents' contentions that business interests
      were unanimously aligned against the bill. Since
      then, we heard privately from several sources
      that our visit made a big difference. And today,
      front-page lead stories in the San Jose Mercury
      News and The New York Times confirm that. The
      Wall Street Journal goes so far as to say that
      Silicon Valley executives made the difference for
      the Governor. Excerpts follow (read the the full
      articles to hear about the final bill).

      You can comment on this posting at CalCars' Blog,

      San Jose Mercury News August 31, 2006 Page 1
      Warm welcome for clean air bill
      By Mike Zapler, MediaNews Sacramento Bureau

      SACRAMENTO - Republican Gov. Arnold
      Schwarzenegger and Democratic leaders endorsed
      landmark legislation Wednesday that could serve
      as a national model for combating global warming
      and, according to Silicon Valley business
      leaders, spur a wave of clean energy technology.

      Opinion within the business community is divided.
      Some argued that the measure could dramatically
      increase energy costs, hurting the state's
      business climate and causing some companies to leave California.

      ``Being the only state to have absolute caps on
      carbon emissions puts California at a competitive
      disadvantage,'' said Allan Zaremberg, president
      and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce,
      predicting the legislation ``will have little
      impact on global climate change but a severe
      negative impact on California's economy.''

      But business interests in Silicon Valley,
      including prominent venture capitalist John Doerr
      and alternative energy company executives,
      lobbied heavily for the bill. They said it would
      spur investments in such energy technologies as
      solar, wind, coal gasification and fuel cells,
      which can produce energy with low or no emissions
      of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

      ``This is going to make California the center of
      innovation in the development and application of
      new clean energy technologies,'' said Rod
      Beckstrom, chief executive of Palo Alto-based
      Carbon Investments. ``There is already huge
      interest in it, but there's no question you're
      going to see even more money go into the sector.''

      The New York Times, Page 1, August 31, 2006
      Officials Reach California Deal to Cut Emissions

      SACRAMENTO, Aug. 30 — California’s political
      leaders announced an agreement on Wednesday that
      imposes the most sweeping controls on carbon
      dioxide emissions in the nation, putting the
      state at the forefront of a broad campaign to
      curb the man-made causes of climate change despite resistance in Washington.

      Business leaders had been divided on the
      climate-change measure, with leading venture
      capitalists from Silicon Valley openly stumping
      for passage, saying the measure will create new
      industries and new jobs. The state’s Chamber of
      Commerce led the opposition, saying that the
      measure would prompt an exodus of industry to
      other states without emission controls, while
      California would be hamstrung in trying to attract out-of-state businesses.

      The Wall Street Journal, August 31, 2006; Page A1
      California Pact Would Place Cap On Emissions
      Anti-Global-Warming Effort Faces Business Opposition; A Split With Washington

      One reason Gov. Schwarzenegger ended up agreeing
      to the bill was that some of California's
      business community supported it. He began tipping
      his support toward the bill after a delegation of
      executives from Silicon Valley last week told him
      many businesses wanted the bill as a way to
      provide them regulatory certainty and for other
      reasons, say lobbyists in the statehouse.

      You can comment on this posting at CalCars' Blog,

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
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