The Future of California’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation

This week, BPC staff attended a dinner meeting of the Air & Waste Management Association, featuring a presentation by Richard Corey, Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Mr. Corey gave an insightful presentation on how California’s air quality and greenhouse gas regulations have shaped our economy thus far, and the direction of climate policy from here on out.

As we move closer to some of the target dates established by SB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, CARB plans to take regulatory steps to achieve cleaner freight and transit, improve the state’s Air Toxics Program, develop new programs, and obtain more funding to address the air quality issues in low-income areas that pose major health risks.

Meanwhile, California will also continue pursuing ambitious targets (e.g. reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050) and improving current programs such as Cap & Trade and Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Many Californians have voiced less-than-ecstatic reactions to the direction state climate policy continues to head in because of potential negative impacts on the economy. Relative to the rest of the world, California has already had some of the most stringent environmental regulations on the books for decades, and fortunately data shows that Gross State Product has continued to steadily increase as state greenhouse gas emissions have consistently plummeted.

Just last year, California overtook France to become the sixth largest economy in the world, and California continues to be the largest state economy within the United States. Our hope is that strong environmental laws and economic growth can go hand in hand. We will be watching to make sure that they do.

We would like to thank the Air & Waste Management Association and Morrison & Foerster LLP for hosting this event, and Mr. Richard Corey for his informative presentation.

“The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.” – John A. Coleman CEO