The most-watched piece of state environmental legislation in the country, AB 32 (Núñez), continues to receive flak from fearful businesses. In an optimistic opinion piece, Kent Stoddard, vice president of public affairs for Waste Management, sees jobs and an economic boost on the green horizon, emphasizing a resource rarely tapped elsewhere: waste. From today's San Francisco Chronicle:
CALIFORNIA'S RECENT heat wave painfully demonstrated the potential impact of global warming and the urgent need for state leadership. During these last two weeks of the legislative session, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders will respond to this need as they hammer out the final details of the most important environmental bill of the decade. AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (authored by Speaker Fabian Núñez and Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) would require California industries to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020.
Both the governor and the Legislature are clearly committed to building on California's legacy of environmental leadership by taking extraordinary steps to address the threat of climate change. But there are still major issues to be resolved. These include defining the roles of the Air Resources Board and other state agencies, the need for regulatory flexibility to address unforeseen events or unintended consequences of a state program, and preventing the potential loss of businesses and jobs to less regulated states.
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