Tuesday, August 28, 2007

U.S. states continue to lead on global warming

Global warming is expected to be a big topic when Congress returns in September. I continue to believe that Bush won't even sign a bill with weak restrictions on CO2 emissions and lots of loopholes. His position is still "no mandatory cuts".

So leadership will have to continue to come from the states. Some recent coverage:

In Oregon:
Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed the state's first climate change legislation Tuesday, capping what he called the "most momentous legislative session for energy and the environment in more than 30 years in Oregon."

The bill sets ambitious standards for greenhouse gas reduction in Oregon, including reducing greenhouse gas levels by 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

In Maryland:
[Governor] O'Malley signed a bill earlier this year on tightening car emissions and created the Commission on Climate Change. And Mr. Aburn [top air quality official at the Maryland Department of the Environment] also said he expects his boss to continue to take action on global warming.

Standing in front of a bright yellow banner advertising the goals of "at least 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050," Mr. Aburn said: "I think the time has come and you're going to see action this year."

Mr. Aburn hinted that even stricter emissions are possible, pointing to the banner and saying, "I'm glad you put the words 'at least' in there.

In California, Attorney General Jerry Brown was suing cities who weren't abiding the state's environmental laws in its development planning:
San Bernardino now sets the pace for how local government can adopt powerful measures to combat oil dependency and climate disruption," Brown said. "This landmark agreement establishes one of the first greenhouse gas reduction plans in California. It is a model that I encourage other cities and counties to adopt."

Approved today by the County Board of Supervisors, today's settlement resolves a lawsuit, filed by the attorney general in April, contesting the adequacy of San Bernardino's general plan under the California Environmental Quality Act.

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