Where is California's Climate Legislation Headed? An Update on AB 32
Many thanks to
BC3 Member PG&E for hosting this call.
On Wednesday, May 11, 34 BC3 members joined Richard Frank of the University of California Davis School of Law, and Erin Rogers of the Union of Concerned Scientists, for a lunchtime conference call on the future of the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). Melissa Capria of SAIC moderated the call.
On March 21, 2011, the California Superior Court ruled to temporarily suspend implementation of the state's groundbreaking climate change law. The ruling stemmed from a case brought forward by the environmental justice community concerning the environmental impact and equity of using cap-and-trade to achieve the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The court found that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap-and-trade in their environmental review of the AB 32 Scoping Plan.
During the conference call, speakers provided a brief history of AB 32 and the Scoping Plan, reviewed the legal arguments in the environmental justice community's lawsuit and the Superior Court's ruling, and considered the implications of the lawsuit on the implementation of cap-and-trade and the other 68 climate protection measures included in the scoping plan. Speakers also answered questions regarding implementation of the renewable portfolio standard and the impact of the ruling on related regulatory measures, among other issues.
Richard Frank is professor of environmental practice and director of the University of California Davis School of Law's California Environmental Law and Policy Center. From 2006 to 2010 he served as executive director of the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment and as lecturer in residence at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. In 2009, he was appointed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as vice chair of the Economic Allocation and Advisory Committee, a group of economists and attorneys convened to advise CARB and the governor on cap-and-trade under AB 32. Mr. Frank has taught numerous classes in environmental law and writes extensively on a wide array of environmental, land use, natural resources, and constitutional law issues. Previously, Mr. Frank served in various positions at the federal Energy Administration in Washington, the California Energy Commission, and the California Department of Justice. Mr. Frank recieved his J.D. from the University of California Davis.
Erin Rogers is manager of the Western States Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, where she works to bring the relevant scientific and economic analyses to the policy decision-making table in support of developing, adopting, and implementing effective policies to reduce global warming pollution. Her expertise in political strategy and climate policy helps in mobilizing scientists and other academic leaders, as well as grassroots constituents and other stakeholders, to influence some of the most important state and regional climate and energy policy debates today. Before joining the Union of Concerned Scientists, Ms. Rogers spent a decade as an advocate and lobbyist focused on environmental and social justice issues in Texas. She holds an M.A. in public administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.