AB32? Prop. 23? National climate bill? Keep it straight.
It seems that California is going to lead by example when it comes to climate change legislation in more ways than one. In 2006, California passed the historic Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), becoming the first state in the nation to address climate change broadly through a suite of emissions reductions and land use regulation. Leading the charge, California’s legislation helped pave the way for the national climate bill. While the climate bill squeaked through the House of Representatives in the summer of 2009, the full bill was abandoned in the Senate this week, indefinitely. Because of an obvious lack of Republican support to get the full bill through, Democrats offered a pared-down proposal on Tuesday. The new proposal has taken several distancing steps from a comprehensive “global warming bill”, and has the significant raising of a $75 million liability cap on oil spill damages as its focal point. With the aim of ushering the slimmed-down bill through before the August recess, its passage appears tenuous.
Meanwhile, California’s climate legislation, AB32 is meeting with similar opposition that will come to a head in the form of Proposition 23 on the November ballot that would effectively halt the implementation of AB32. How California reacts to the challenge will likely prove to the testing ground for climate change policy nationwide, for years to come.
We will be following this issue very closely, as well as the progress of local Bay Area implementation of AB32.