AB 32 Now and in the Future

>>Narrator: We've always counted on the Sun to heat the Earth but billions of tons of carbon dioxide and other gases from burning fossil fuels now trap that heat that warm our planet like a greenhouse. In 2006, California took the lead in the battle to slow global warming with passage of Assembly Bill 32: the Global Warming Solutions Act AB 32 made the Air Resources Board the agency responsible for leading the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. Seven years later, California has a suite of well-developed programs to reduce greenhouse gases and expand opportunities for sustainable economic growth while giving businesses the kind of regulatory certainty they require to thrive. >>Edie Chang: The AB 32 Program is first and foremost an emission reduction program.

It's designed to make sure that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020. Now of course we recognize that AB 32 has economic impacts, and we're working to make sure that those impacts are positive. >>Narrator: Getting here has required a tremendous public process and a full state-initiative drawing on a number of agencies from Cal EPA the Natural Resources Agency and other departments. The 2008 AB 32 Scoping Plan combines existing programs with new ones, and serves as a flexible, updatable roadmap to AB 32 implementation. All these programs increase energy efficiency, conservation, and use of renewable energy. In fact, a large portion of the emission reductions come from increased energy efficiency in homes and businesses. AB 32 makes greenhouse gases the combined focus, coupling healthier, cleaner air with greenhouse gas reductions. AB 32 includes four primary programs all geared toward increased energy efficiency: Advanced Clean Cars, the Renewables Portfolio Standard, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and Cap-and-Trade.

California's air quality rules have helped make today's passenger cars 99% cleaner-running than they were in the mid-1970's. The Advanced Clean Car rules passed in 2012 continue that push: reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tailpipe emissions. and coincidentally increase gas mileage. The enhanced zero-emission vehicle program drives the market for vehicles with no emissions, and puts California in the forefront of developing those vehicles and the fuels to power them. These vehicles are on the road now, will save consumers an estimated $5 billion in 2025 and $10 billion by 2030, are removing 52 million tons of greenhouse gas from the atmosphere by 2025. The Renewables Portfolio Standard requires that a third of electricity generated in California by 2020 be generated with cleaner renewable fuels. Reliable electricity is essential to the health with California's economy, and a wider variety of fuels and fuel sources for generation secures that supply while reducing emissions.

The Low Carbon Fuel Standard, or LCFS, requires a 10% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 from transportation fuels sold in California. The LCFS will help make a wider choice of cleaner fuels available to Californians. Many are available now. Development of that cleaner fuel has already drawn companies, such as Propel Fuels, to our State. The Cap-and-Trade Program reduces emissions from the state's largest industrial sources, including energy generation. As the cap declines each year, greenhouse gas emissions must come down with it. Covered businesses must turn in a permit, or allowance, for every ton of carbon they emit. the more they reduce emissions, the fewer allowances they need. Buying and selling carbon allowances lets industry set the price on carbon. Industry received 90% of allowances free as the program began, with the number declining in later years. Utilities get 100% of allowances free with the money from their sale at auction used great players Allowances let businesses decide when to make actual emission reductions in a planned way as they incorporate greater efficiency into their business plans.

AB 32 programs dramatically but gradually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will reduce smog-causing pollutants as well. This improves the health of Californians and our environment, but there are other considerations. A recent UC Berkeley study finds these programs will result in more than 50,000 new jobs annually by 2020 and reports by both Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers find that California receives two out of every three green investment dollars in the United States. A 2012 poll by the Public Policy Institute of California finds 70% of voters support the State's climate change law. They see the need for these programs, and they are now beginning to reap the benefits To ensure those benefits are sustainable, a new AB 32 scoping plan is under development to carry California to 2020 and beyond.