Monday, March 28, 2022

Where's the CAP?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2022 at 12:38 PM

click to enlarge Humboldt County and local cities are crafting a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030. - COURTESY OF CALTRANS
  • Courtesy of CalTrans
  • Humboldt County and local cities are crafting a plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030.

If an irresistible force meets an immovable object, one possible outcome is a stalled Climate Action Plan. Caught between the realities of an ever-warming climate and a culture that is embedded in fossil fuels, city, state and county planners have been trying for years to come up with some acceptable and realistic ways of staving off disaster. It is a daunting task and, perhaps not surprisingly, has taken years of effort with little to show for it.

In 2006, under the leadership of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California passed Assembly Bill 32, a law requiring California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This goal was met, largely through the implementation of the cap-and-trade program, which basically placed a market value on the right to pollute. Companies by and large found it was cheaper to clean up their technologies than to pay pollution fees to the state.

Ten years later, under the leadership of Gov. Jerry Brown, the state passed Senate Bill 32, which required further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of their 1990 levels by 2030. This deadline is now less than eight years away.

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Elaine Weinreb

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