Sunday, March 8, 2009

Doing nothing is too costly a 'solution'

The Modesto Bee (California) runs an opinion piece by DeeDee D’Adamo, a member of the California Air Resources Board and a senior policy analyst for Representative Dennis Cardoza, Democrat from Merced: ….In my role as member of the California Air Resources Board for the last decade, I am acutely aware of the need to balance clean air goals with a healthy economy. The fact is, good air quality and a robust economy go hand in hand in today's world.

…A paradigm change has occurred in recent years and people are paying attention to global warming and how it will affect them, their children and grandchildren. Doing nothing is the most expensive strategy of addressing climate change. The longer we wait to act, the more money and effort it will take to reverse the effects of climate change.

When AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, was signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger, it was natural that the ARB was given primary responsibility for cutting greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020. The ARB's 40 years of experience slashing air pollution, spurring the creation of advanced technologies, broadening California's green-job market and working cooperatively with industry puts the state on a solid footing to meet AB 32 goals.

Being "green" is marketable in today's economy. California has always been a mecca for innovation and home to entrepreneurs looking for ways to capitalize on green technologies. Regulated industries -- and that includes nearly every sector of the economy -- have stepped up and done their parts for clean air in ways that are often technologically astounding. Businesses also are finding that to stay competitive they must pay attention to their environmental actions because of customer demands.

Clearing the skies has enormous health benefits, and savvy business owners stand to make money from these efforts. For example, Hilarides Dairy in Lindsay and Joseph Farms in Atwater are converting dairy waste to power for their operations, allowing the business to reap the benefits of making clean power onsite without relying on volatile energy markets.

Smog will be reduced in the valley through AB 32 measures, as well. The ARB is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to secure the needed waiver so that even cleaner vehicles can be sold in California and 14 other states. The ARB's clean vehicle rule, known as "the Pavley regulation," aims to cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016. The regulation will also reduce valley smog through improved fuel efficiency and cleaner-burning cars….

Heavy smog in Los Angeles, 1973

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