AB 32 Law Passes Through One Great Test

Amendment to the AB 32 Law was rejected by Congress which was a big relief for those who support the hard-line approach to climate change. Dating back to 2006, the amendment was named AB 118 which could have destroyed the original law.

AB 32 was definitely a very challenging legislation, which gathered many opposing parties when it was first signed. Gov. Schwarzenegger recognized the issues, but was adamant that this was the only way forward for the state as it set a precedent nationwide for environmental leadership.

When AB 32 Law’s amendment was rejected around mid-January, its supporters were in big relief. Dating back to 2006, the proposed amendment called AB 118 could have destroyed the original law.

Since the bill became law, significant investments have being undertaken by businesses across the state, investing in clean technology, retooling the very way they do business with the aim of preparing for more stringent regulations ahead of them. The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, as the AB 32 law is formally known, aims to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, by the year 2020.

The California Air Resource Board is charged with the responsibility of implementing AB 32, California’s answer to the problem of global warming. Mandatory reporting rules will usher in tough market mechanisms and so-called “alternative compliance” mechanisms to help achieve maximum reductions.

Critics of Gov. Schwarzenegger was in a position against it who planned to stop it from going through prior to the mandatory caps were drafted to kick off by 2010. Although opposition was believed to have been united, commonsense still prevailed in California according to the environmentalists.

One of the main problems associated with AB 32 is of course, geographical. As California is the state which has the highest population in the US, any action in this state towards reduction of the overall carbon emissions in the United States will make a stark difference, though legislators in California have to be very careful that companies would not be forced to leave the state and do business elsewhere. By doing this, greenhouse gas emissions would not be reduced, but would rather be transferred elsewhere.

It’s going to be a long road before we could finally see any tangible benefits from the stipulations on the AB 32 Law, which happened to have survived Legislation’s opposition in mid-January. The original law’s targets proposed a reduction in carbon emissions of about 25% from the levels in 1990 by 2020 and as much as 80% of the levels below levels in 1990 by 2050.

California seeks to restrict emissions from “significant sources” according to a cap and trade program. The United States Senate is also considering a nationwide scheme of this kind, but it appears that this will have considerable opposition and may not survive passage through the Senate in its current form, at least during 2010.