California to cap all greenhouse gas emissions

The Golden State once again makes a bold move acting as a leader in environmental legislation. On Wednesday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger reached a deal with California Democrats to implement reductions on all greenhouse gas emissions including those from industrial plants by about 25 percent by 2020.
The focus here is on major industries which include utility plants and oil and gas refineries. The bill would create a market-type system in which companies could buy and sell emissions credits with other companies. This would give some leeway to businesses that can't meet their emissions targets by implementing new efficiency protocols and alternative fuels, or those who consider the changes too costly.

Schwarzenegger's move represents a break with the Bush administration, whose stance on carbon dioxide emissions is that CO2 is not a pollutant. Regardless of the semantics, the ruling is significant because it prevents their reduction through the Clean Air Act. Bush's stance was in turn a reversal of the Clinton administration's position on the matter.

California Republicans who prefer to defer climate issues to the federal government oppose the bill pointing to the possible harm it could bring to the state's economy by driving jobs and businesses out of California.

The bill is now headed to a Democratic-controlled Legislature for approval.

[Source: Associated Press via MSNBC]

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