Assembly member Patty Berg updates Campaign donors
A lovely garden party for Campaign donors, held at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center on September 16, 2006, featured Assembly member Patty Berg who updated attendees on the exciting news about AB32. Michelle Vesser led a tour of OAEC's paradisiacal gardens.
Patty Berg's speech:
CLIMATE PROTECTION CAMPAIGN
An Evening in the Garden with Climate Protection Campaign
September 16, 2006
4:00 to 6:00
Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
What a pleasure it is to be here in these beautiful gardens. I’ve been amazed when I’ve been here in the past, at just how breathtaking this place is. About a year and a half ago I came to the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center to meet with Dave (Hansen) and Renata (Brillinger). I remember being stunned at just how beautiful it is here.
The tender loving care that goes into keeping this place the treasure that it is, is evident everywhere. It’s wonderful to be back.
It is truly a pleasure when I can come back to the district on the heels of such great news – and that is the passage of AB 32, Assemblywoman Fran Pavely and Speaker Fabian Nunez’s bill enacting the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. I’m proud to say I was a co-author of this ‘first of its kind’ and very important piece of legislation.
All of you have been working hard – with the help of the Climate Protection Campaign – here in Sonoma County and in many ways you are way ahead of the game.
I was so proud and pleased to see my longtime and very good friend Annie Hancock get the recognition she so deserves in the Press Democrat for how she has diligently and systematically worked toward bringing this issue into the limelight here in Sonoma County.
As you all know, Ann was the founder and remains the backbone of the Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign. I believe all of us – and no doubt generations yet to come – owe Ann a huge debt of gratitude for all the work she’s done helping Sonoma County be the first to take such a solid and unified step toward decreasing our ecological footprint on our planet.
As for AB 32, I’m sure many of you were following how things were going as it went through the process.
It was touch and go, getting the governor to sign on, but ultimately he did and California is now the first state in the nation to require industry to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
AB 32 was landmark legislation at its best. But, being the first is not new for California. As we all know, California has shown real leadership in this area. It’s often said, “How California goes, so goes the nation.”
This was the case when two years ago we were the first state to place a limit on global warming pollution from cars – also a Fran Pavely bill. Today, ten other states and Canada have adopted similar standards, representing 36% – more than a third – of the North American car market. Our efficiency standards have also been adopted by the federal government as well as by other countries such as China and Russia.
California is a leader in positive change as it relates to the health and wellbeing of our ecosystem and this bill positions us well to significantly and positively effect our environment and overall sustainability, not just here but throughout the world.
The California Air Resources Board (also known as CARB) will be the lead agency under AB 32. CARB is charged with the task of developing the regulations requiring sources of greenhouse gas emission to monitor and report their emissions as well as lay out detailed criteria for adoption and compliance with those regulations.
Industry must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% – or back to 1990 levels – by the year 2020.
This means all businesses from automakers to cement manufacturers will need to begin reducing emissions by the year 2012 in order to meet that requirement.
Things like solar panels, and hybrid and electric cars could become as common place as SUV’s and big gas burning furnaces are now.
And the really good news is, the technology we need to curb greenhouse gas emissions is already available to us. However – while this is true – we must continue to invest in research and explore new and even better technologies to lead us into the future. All of this will open the door for new industries and set new horizons for what we can accomplish.
Now that a clear goal has been set, the marketplace will naturally begin to develop more and better strategies and technologies to achieve the 25% goal, providing extra benefits from cleaner air to new job opportunities. Whole careers can be focused around renewable, clean, non-polluting energy which I think we can all agree bodes very well for our future.
Silicon Valley venture capitalists were in Sacramento openly stumping for the passage of AB 32, saying it will create new industries and new jobs – while the State Chamber of Commerce feared it would drive business to other states that don’t have emission controls.
The bill’s detractors expressed fear we would be putting undo stress on businesses in California. Not so. Only significant sources of global warming pollution are required to report.
Electricity and natural gas providers must report all their emissions up front. Since most emissions produced by businesses are the result of electricity and natural gas, those emissions are already accounted for.
As well, the California Energy Commission – under the Petroleum Industry Information Reporting Act – already tracks Petroleum products as they enter the economy at oil refineries and storage facilities. This covers emissions resulting from the transportation sector.
Together – transportation, electricity, and natural gas accounts for three-quarters of all of California’s emissions. The bulk of the rest comes from refineries, oil and gas extraction facilities, dairies, landfills, and cement production.
And here’s a startling fact: California is the 12 th largest emitter of global warming pollution in the world. That’s the 12 th largest “ in the world” not the nation, the world. What we do here in California has a direct and significant impact on the entire planet – so I say let’s do it right.AB 32 was more than just “the right thing to do.” I think the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 – in the long run – will be essential to our very survival. I was honored to be a part of this ground-breaking and historic piece of legislation. I thank you all for your support and everything you did to help make it a
Telos Project © 2003