Seven years after the passage of AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, other states and nations continue to watch how California implements this landmark law. The bill has spurred a far-reaching regulatory program that affects all businesses and consumers in the state’s quest to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) plan for carrying out the mandates of AB 32 continues to be a major issue for businesses and industries statewide that will be subject to new regulations. The business community is increasingly concerned about the additional costs both public and private entities are expected to incur from the implementation of this plan and the effect on the state’s still-fragile economic recovery. Climate Change
- Monitor implementation of AB 32 climate change legislation and its impact on California businesses, including Air Resources Board (ARB) activities;
- Support risk management and corporate strategies to help lessen the financial burden of climate change mitigation efforts;
- Support national/global efforts that could help California businesses grow and promote their technologies/services elsewhere.
- Stopped proposals leading to fuel price increases, including two that increased energy costs by allocating funds from an illegal tax to various programs that are not needed to cost-effectively implement the market-based trading mechanism under AB 32, the state’s landmark climate change law.
The California Chamber of Commerce will continue working to ensure that compliance costs are minimized through measures that effectively reduce carbon while allowing for continued economic growth. Regulations must be seen through the lens of the economy and must minimize costs and maximize benefits for California. In order to ensure GHG reductions are achieved while maintaining the competitiveness of California businesses and the health of the economy, it is critical that the state agencies promulgating climate change policies (that is, the ARB and Public Utilities Commission) periodically review all GHG programs as implemented to ensure GHG emissions are reduced in an economically efficient and environmentally sound manner.
A review process, along with any necessary rulemaking changes, must involve stakeholder input. It is impossible to create a successful program and achieve real, quantifiable reductions without understanding the various industries targeted by the regulations. All regulations should be monitored vigilantly to ensure they are meeting their environmental goals in a way that allows for business growth and economic development in California. It is imperative that all necessary measures are taken to mitigate economic impacts and to ensure that these programs are ready, functional and efficacious.
The CalChamber believes that for the state to be a true leader on this issue, it needs to share its proven energy efficiency knowledge while harnessing the innovation and creativity of its citizens to pioneer new, low-carbon technologies. In fact, policy approaches that recognize and encourage California’s leadership and innovation in the environmental arena can be more effective than taxes or fees. Successful technologies developed in California and implemented throughout the world could provide a win-win situation for California businesses by both helping to reduce GHG emissions here and in other nations, and providing jobs in the state.
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