Appearing in JNREL Vol. 21, No. 2 this Note was written by former JNREL Technical Editor Keeana Sajadi. Staff member Jessica Drake wrote the following abstract.
In September of 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of the state of California, signed into law the most comprehensive greenhouse emission reduction program in the United States at that time, the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The Act would require reporting of the current emissions and a detailed timeline to reduce pollution rates in California to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The state established itself as a leader who would, through their efforts and projected success in such reductions as well as increases in overall energy expenses and job creations, gain governmental following by the United States and the world.
Because California is the twelfth largest emitter in the world of this pollution, it will use GWSA to reduce the associated stigma with that status and minimize its role in the harsh effects resulting from greenhouse emissions made by the state itself, other states of America, and counties around the world. Besides GWSA's establishment of short-term goals for reductions, it also allows the California Air Resources Board, created by GWSA to implement a specific reduction plan and timeline, to provide future guidance to the Governor once the 2020 goal is attained. Further, it applies the program with an eye toward creating a workable market-based compliance mechanism, limiting emissions through automobiles, and minimizing leakage of emission to surrounding areas because of reductions in California.
The implementation of such a bold step in environmental protection incites opposition from individuals and industries that will be currently affected. Farmers, power companies, and car manufacturers argue against this drastic plan that will require major changes for their operations. However, the benefits for the state, country and world-at-large overshadow those concerns. Because the program indirectly provides lower long-term energy costs, major increases in employment opportunities, better economic spending and saving, and progression in innovative technology that should ensure a better future for our natural environment, it is well worth the short-term discomfort for such industries today. Although there are critics with legitimate concerns, the GWSA benefits will outweigh any burdens imposed.
For a more specific and thorough analysis of California's monumental effort to reduce these emissions and encourage others to follow its lead, read Keeana Sajadi's "The Terminator a Trendsetter? How California's Global Warming Solutions Act will Impact California, the United States and the World," JNREL Vol. 21, No. 2.