Western Climate Initiative: California, New Mexico and 3 Canadian provinces push greenhouse gas controls


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California, joined by New Mexico and three Canadian provinces, outlined a detailed plan Tuesday to curb greenhouse gas emissions in a regional cap-and-trade program by January 2012.
The Western Climate Initiative, two years in the making, comes as Congressional legislation for a federal climate legislation has stalled and the focus of U.S. action to curb global warming shifts to the states. A Northeastern cap-and-trade program is operating, covering power plants, but the economy-wide Western program, if enacted, would be three times larger, eventually encompassing most industrial and transportation sources of carbon dioxide and other gases that have begun to alter the global climate. Europe has been operating under a cap-and-trade program for industry for several years.

But the future of the Western initiative is up in the air: California’s push for statewide controls are under challenge in a ballot initiative, as well as by gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
According to a news release from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office Tuesday the California-led plan “will be the most comprehensive carbon-reduction strategy adopted anywhere in the world.” While international and federal climate controls are needed,’ Schwarzenegger said, “California and the rest of the Western Climate Initiative partners are not waiting to take action.”


UPDATE: for the full story in Wednesday’s paper click on Western Climate Initiative.

-- Margot Roosevelt