Washington Post June 27, 2006

High Court to Hear Greenhouse Gas Case
States, Groups Push for Regulation

The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear arguments on whether the federal government must regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, a case that could have broad implications for utilities, auto manufacturers and other industries across the country.

The decision to take up Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency -- a lawsuit that pits 12 states, 13 environmental groups, two cities and American Samoa against the federal government -- could break the political impasse that has stymied regulation by the United States on global warming for more than a decade.

Environmentalists and state and local officials argue that
President Bush has the legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the 36-year-old Clean Air Act because it is linked to climate change and poses a threat to the environment. While the Clinton administration endorsed this reasoning, it did not issue rules on carbon dioxide emissions. The Bush administration, which rejects this theory, must convince the Supreme Court that it has no legal obligation to restrict greenhouse gases.

"The court's decision to hear the case is momentous," said New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), whose state is suing the administration along with 11 others. "I am confident the court will rule in the states' favor. This issue is not a matter of if, but when."

The EPA, which successfully defended its position before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year, issued a statement yesterday saying that it is "
confident in its decision" not to regulate carbon dioxide. The administration's voluntary efforts to cut emissions, it added, "are helping achieve reductions now while saving millions of dollars, as well as providing clean, affordable energy."

Bush told reporters during his regular question-and-answer session yesterday that he has devised a plan focused on technological solutions "to be able to deal with greenhouse gases." He added that he considers global warming "a serious problem. There's a debate over whether it's man-made or naturally caused; we ought to get beyond that debate" and use technology such as nuclear power to meet the nation's energy needs.

The Supreme Court ruling is likely to come next year. Should it rule in favor of the plaintiffs, the opinion would be significant because, beyond forcing the administration's hand, it could have a profound effect on global warming-related lawsuits nationwide. In California, for example, a coalition of automakers is challenging
California's decision and that of 10 other states to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.

"This is highly significant because there are a whole set of global warming cases that are working their way through the courts," said David Doniger, climate center policy director at the advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council. "We may need new legislation" to regulate carbon dioxide, "but it really matters what the existing law says."

Environmental advocates have been pressing this point on a number of fronts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit heard oral arguments this month in a case in which eight states, New York City, three state land trusts and several environmental groups are suing five major utilities on grounds that their greenhouse gas pollution amounts to a public nuisance that crosses state lines.

"Now that we have so much damage locked into the system, groups of individuals and communities across the country and elsewhere
are seeking compensation because of the injuries they're experiencing," said Matthew F. Pawa, one of the lead attorneys in the public nuisance case.

Many opponents of greenhouse gas curbs also welcomed the Supreme Court's announcement, saying it will settle the question of regulation once and for all. William O'Keefe, who lobbies for Exxon Mobil and heads the George C. Marshall Institute, a Washington think tank, said he hopes the court will apply the rigorous scientific standards it has required in cases since the early 1990s.

"If they apply that to this filing, they will reject it," he said. "They'll say the agency is well within its rights" to not regulate carbon dioxide.

But a coalition of indigenous Alaskan tribes that filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the court to consider the suit said evidence is mounting that more needs to be done to curb global warming. Faith Gemmill of the Fairbanks-based Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL) said tribes across Alaska must deal with a shortened hunting season, widespread forest fires and other effects of climate change.

"Our entire ecosystem is changing due to global warming," Gemmill said. "Our very existence is at threat."

The Orange County Register June 27, 2006

The global-warming war heats up
The Supreme Court will take on the issue of regulating greenhouse gases in lawsuit over carbon dioxide.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will tackle one of the nation's most pressing environmental questions: Should carbon dioxide, a so-called greenhouse gas, be considered a form of air pollution and be regulated under the Clean Air Act?

The question isn't as simple as it sounds. Gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat in Earth's atmosphere, much like the glass walls that trap heat in a greenhouse. Most climate scientists agree that the production of such gases by civilization contributes significantly to the warming of the planet.

But traditional pollutants, such as diesel exhaust, cause direct harm to the human body. Carbon dioxide can foster the creation of other harmful pollutants and potentially cause health problems by altering climate. But carbon dioxide itself is something we breathe in and out harmlessly every day.

Automakers and others say that means it isn't really a pollutant.

Q. What exactly is the Supreme Court going to decide?

A. A federal lawsuit entitled "Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." In it, 12 states, including California, contend that the Clean Air Act requires regulation of carbon dioxide because it poses a danger to public health and welfare. The danger, they say, comes from climate change.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Bush administration contend carbon dioxide does not meet the definition of air pollution under the Clean Air Act.

A federal appeals court sided with the administration.

Q. How could this affect California?

A. California began trying to control air pollution before the federal EPA existed, and it was granted the right to set its own air pollution laws - the only state allowed to do so.

Many states in the Northeast follow California's lead in pushing the frontiers of controlling air pollution.

In 2004, California became the first and only state to require reductions of carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicles.

Automakers quickly sued. In addition to saying the rule incorrectly labels carbon dioxide a pollutant, they contend that such a rule amounts to a fuel-economy standard, which is the province of the federal government, not the states.

State air-quality officials say that while California could enforce its rule even without the backing of the Supreme Court, it would be a lot tougher.

Q. How could it affect the nation?

A.The decision could rank among the most important in the nation's history regarding global warming, and even the environment as a whole. If the Supreme Court agrees with the 12 states, the new regulations would cover only tailpipe emissions. But such a ruling could turn up the pressure to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants as well. Power plants account for an estimated 40 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, cars and trucks about half that.

Q. Has President Bush taken a position?

A. The Bush administration says the best way to control carbon dioxide is through voluntary actions by industry and through development of new technology to cut emissions - not by regulating carbon dioxide.

Q. How does carbon dioxide help create pollutants that are harmful to breathe?

A.Increased temperatures from global warming bring increases in harmful pollutants such as ground-level ozone and fine particles, says Jerry Martin of the state Air Resources Board.

Q. When can we expect a decision?

A.Arguments before the court are expected late this year; a ruling could come in June 2007.

Q. Which other states are part of the lawsuit against the EPA?

A.Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington. A number of cities also have joined the case, including Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C., and activist groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth.

Why is California different?
The California Air Resources Board was created in 1967, and the following year was already regulating 1.5 million cars with an early pollution-control device.

The U.S. EPA was created through the federal Clean Air Act in 1970. As a result, California, alone among the states, was permitted to set its own air pollution rules, although the federal government reserved the right to set fuel-economy standards.

"We were doing it before the EPA existed," air board spokesman Jerry Martin said.

June 26, 2006 Bloomberg.com

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Requiring Greenhouse Gas Rules

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a bid by environmentalists and 12 states to force the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate car and truck emissions that may contribute to global warming.

The justices today said they will
review a lower court decision that said the EPA had discretion under the Clean Air Act to refuse to regulate tailpipe emissions on the grounds that more scientific and technical studies were needed. The Bush administration had urged the court not to consider the case.

High court involvement raises the prospect of new regulations on automakers including General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., companies already facing sales slides. Depending on how broadly the court rules, the case might also affect utilities, who have fought efforts to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases from power plants.

``This case goes to the heart of EPA's statutory responsibilities to deal with the most pressing environmental problem of our time,'' the states and environmental groups argued in their appeal. Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly is leading the group.

The case is one of two efforts by northeastern and western states
to make the EPA adopt emissions standards to address global warming. New York is leading a second effort to force regulation of power-plant pollution.

Ten other states from the middle of the country joined the Bush administration in urging the Supreme Court not to get involved in the auto emissions case. The Utility Air Regulatory Group, which represents power generators and mining companies, also backed the EPA.

`Scientific Uncertainty'

The EPA said in 2003 that it wouldn't regulate emissions from new cars and trucks, pointing to ``substantial scientific uncertainty'' about the effects of climate change on human health and the environment and about the best means to address the issue. The agency also questioned the wisdom of a ``piecemeal'' approach to greenhouse gases, given that vehicles are just one of many sources.

In addition, the agency said Congress hasn't given it authority to regulate greenhouse gases, regardless of what the scientific evidence showed.

In upholding the agency's decision last year on a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit stopped short of saying the EPA didn't have any authority over greenhouse gases.

At the Supreme Court, the Bush administration argued that the Clean Air Act gives the EPA ``discretion to make the threshold determination of whether the scientific record is sufficiently well developed to begin the regulatory process.''

Consequences of Delay

Bush has rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which would require greenhouse gases to be cut 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, because he said the agreement would cost jobs and hurt the U.S. economy.

The Massachusetts group argued that the EPA ``rewrote the Clean Air Act to justify its decision.'' The appeal contends that, under the law, the agency's decision whether to regulate must
be based solely on the likelihood of danger to the public health and welfare.

That section of the law ``says not a word about technological judgments, international treaty obligations, private-public partnerships or any other of the myriad factors EPA cited in deciding not to regulate here,'' the appeal argued.

The group is seeking limits on four air pollutants:
carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide_f and hydrofluorocarbons HFC. The justices will consider the case during their 2006-07 term, which starts in October.

In addition to Massachusetts, the states challenging the EPA's refusal to regulate are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The environmental organizations included Environmental Defense, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club. The group also included New York City, Baltimore and Washington D.C.

The case is Massachusetts v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 05-1120.

September 20, 2006 @New York Times

California Sues Carmakers

California sued six of the world's largest automakers over global warming on Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit is the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

It comes less than a month after California lawmakers adopted the nation's first
global warming law mandating a cut in greenhouse gas emissions.

California has also targeted the auto industry with
first-in-the-nation rules adopted in 2004 requiring carmakers to force cuts in tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks.

Automakers, however, have so far blocked those rules with their own legal action -- prompting one analyst to say California's lawsuit represents a way for California to pressure car manufacturers to accept the rules.

``That's the objective,'' said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit organization that provides public research and forecasts about the industry. ''They want to get the automakers basically to bow down and pay homage to the (emissions) law.''

The complaint, which an auto industry trade group called
a ''nuisance'' suit, names General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., the U.S. arm of Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG and the North American units of Japan's Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd..

Lockyer told Reuters he would seek ``tens or hundreds of millions of dollars'' from the automakers in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California.

Environmental groups hailed the lawsuit, saying it represented another weapon for the state as it seeks to curb greenhouse gas emissions and spur the auto industry to build vehicles that pollute less.

``(California) just passed a new law to cut global warming emissions by 25 percent and that's a good start and this lawsuit is a good next step,'' said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming Program.

Ford deferred comment to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which said the lawsuit was similar to one a New York court dismissed that is now on appeal.

``Automakers will need time to review this legal complaint, however, a similar nuisance suit that was brought by attorneys- general against utilities was dismissed by a federal court in New York,'' the industry group said in a statement.

Toyota declined to comment as the company evaluates the lawsuit, while Honda said in a statement it was committed to developing environmentally responsible technology.

The other automakers had no immediate comment.

But Sean Hecht, executive director of the Environmental Law Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the lawsuit has a ``reasonable'' chance of succeeding.

He also noted the judge in the New York lawsuit cited rarely-used legal doctrine in ruling that the question at issue was political rather than legal and should therefore be addressed by the legislature and not the court.

``I was surprised that the court in that case did that,'' he said. ``I think it is a straight forward legal question. My impression is this is a very legitimate case to bring.''

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for past and ongoing contributions to global warming and asks that the companies be held liable for future monetary damages to California.

It said California is spending millions to deal with reduced snow pack, beach erosion, ozone pollution and the impact on endangered animals and fish.

``The injuries have caused the people to suffer billions of dollars in damages, including millions of dollars of funds expended to determine the extent, location and nature of future harm and to prepare for and mitigate those harms, and billions of dollars of current harm to the value of flood control infrastructure and natural resources,'' it said.

The Center for Automotive Research's Cole said it would be tough for the industry to immediately meet demands from some critics and predicted other states would quickly follow suit should California succeed with the legal action.

Adoption of diesel engine emissions technology or gasoline- electric hybrids comes at great cost and improving gas mileage also likely means smaller lighter vehicles, trade-offs that are not attractive to consumers, he added.

``These are not free technologies, they are very expensive,'' Cole said. ``Most people are price sensitive.''

In the complaint, Lockyer charges that
vehicle emissions have contributed significantly to global warming and have harmed the resources, infrastructure and environmental health of the most populous state in the United States.

Lockyer -- a Democratic candidate for state treasurer in the November election -- said the lawsuit states that under federal and state common law the automakers have created a public nuisance by producing ``millions of vehicles that collectively emit massive quantities of carbon dioxide.''

Carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases have been linked to global warming.

California's Vehicle Global Warning Law

Signed into law in 2002, Assembly Bill 1493 (Pavley) directed the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to adopt regulations that require carmakers to reduce global warming emissions from new passenger cars and light trucks beginning in 2009.

The ARB adopted regulations in September 2004 that meet the intent of the original legislation: the law ensures the maximum feasible and cost-effective to the consumer reduction of greenhouse gases emitted by passenger vehicles. Under the plan, carmakers must meet increasingly stringent standards that phase in between 2009 and 2016.

The regulation cleared a final legislative review in early 2005 and was filed with the Secretary of the State in September. It becomes effective on January 1, 2006. However, it faces federal and state court challenges by automakers and some California car dealers.

The California Clean Cars Campaign is supporting the state as it defends its groundbreaking vehicle global warming law.

Why California?

As the fifth-largest economy in the world and a longtime national leader in environmental solutions, California is critical to controlling and reducing global warming pollution. Passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks represent the largest sources of global warming pollution in the state, and are responsible for approximately 40 percent of California's total global warming emissions.

In contrast with the federal government, which has failed to take decisive action on reducing global warming, California is leading the nation and in step with scientists around the world. The time to act is now.

Los Angeles Times 2006/9/20

Lockyer Sues Carmakers Over Smog

California's attorney general today sued the six largest U.S. and Japanese automakers, including GM, Ford and Toyota, for damages related to greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal lawsuit alleges that emissions from their vehicles have harmed Californians' health, damaged the environment and cost the state millions of dollars to combat their effects.

"It's part of a strategy to address global warming," Attorney General Bill Lockyer told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "The goal of this one is to hold these automobile manufacturers accountable for the monies taxpayers are spending to address these harms."

The lawsuit is the latest effort from California to combat the effects of global warming.

Last month, the state Legislature passed a landmark bill designed to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases from industries. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to sign the measure into law by the end of the month.

Two years ago, the state enacted similar requirements for auto emissions, prompting carmakers to file suit in federal court.

Lockyer's action comes 48 days before the November election. He is termed out of office this year and is running for state treasurer.

"This is the silly season of elections in the fall, and obviously he thinks this will gain him a few marginal votes," said Sean McAlinden, an economist with the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. "I don't think it means anything more than it says. It's California politics."

Lockyer said the complaint has nothing to do with election-year politics. His Republican opponent, state Board of Equalization member Claude Parrish, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland, names Chrysler Motors Corp., General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor North America, Honda North America and Nissan North America.

The automakers responded to Lockyer's lawsuit by issuing a statement saying they already are building cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers did not respond to the substance of Lockyer's lawsuit, saying manufacturers would need time to review the complaint.

Lockyer is suing on the theory that greenhouse gases are a "public nuisance" under both California and federal law, an argument similar to one being pursued in a case before the 2nd U.S. District Court of Appeals in New York. Connecticut and seven other states, including California, have sued five power companies to get them to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The Connecticut lawsuit was dismissed by a district judge who said it attempted to address political questions. In a brief filed in support of the utility companies, the automakers alliance argued that such a suit "opens the door to lawsuits targeting any activity that uses fossil fuel for energy."

Lockyer often joins multistate lawsuits, but he said he did know whether other states or environmental groups planned to enlist in his latest effort against auto manufacturers. His lawsuit is the first that seeks monetary damages from the auto industry for greenhouse gas emissions.

"Industries that release the pollution that is causing global warming have to expect there are going to be more suits of this kind until and unless we have effective national legislation to curb global warming," said David Doniger, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C.

The environmental group has joined California in defending the state's auto emission regulations in a separate lawsuit filed by automakers.

That court case relates to rules adopted in 2004 by the state Air Resources Board. They were designed to cut polluting exhaust from cars and light trucks by 25 percent and from sport utility vehicles by 18 percent.

The auto industry challenged the state's ability to set such regulations shortly after the rules took effect. In that case, automakers argue that California is acting outside its jurisdiction because the only way they can meet the more stringent emission standards is to raise fuel efficiency. Setting fuel-efficiency standards is the exclusive responsibility of the federal government.

The state has countered that automakers can meet the tougher tailpipe standards with better technology.

California is attempting to cut the amount of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. As part of its strategy, auto emissions from cars and light trucks would account for about a third of the reductions.

The emissions from industries that are targeted by the bill Schwarzenegger is expected to sign next week also are a key part of the state's overall strategy. The Republican governor struck that landmark deal with Democratic leaders in August during the waning days of the legislative session and after weeks of intense negotiations.

Lockyer said he intentionally waited until the Legislature passed that bill before filing his lawsuit against the automakers because he didn't want to jeopardize its chances.

2007/9/17 AFP

Judge rejects California bid to sue carmakers over warming

A US court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit lodged by California officials demanding millions of dollars in damages from six automakers blamed for contributing to global warming.

A written ruling issued by a federal judge in the Northern District of California said it was not for courts to decide the extent to which car makers could be held accountable for producing harmful greenhouse gases.

"The Court finds that injecting itself into the global warming thicket at this juncture would require an initial policy determination of the type reserved for the political branches of government," Judge Martin Jenkins wrote.

California's former attorney-general Bill Lockyer filed the lawsuit in September last year seeking damages from General Motors, Ford, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler and the US subsidiaries of Honda and Nissan.

The lawsuit was the first of its kind seeking to hold manufacturers liable for damage allegedly caused by greenhouse gases produced by their vehicles.

The suit charged that carmakers had created a public nuisance by producing "millions of vehicles that collectively emit massive quantities of carbon dioxide," a greenhouse gas that causes global warming.

"Global warming has already injured California, its environment, its economy, and the health and well-being of its citizens," the lawsuit alleged.

However in granting the automakers' motion to dismiss, Judge Jenkins said the case could only proceed if the court issued a ruling as to an acceptable level of carbon dioxide emissions -- something it was not able to do.

"The court is left to make an initial decision as to what is unreasonable in the context of carbon dioxide emissions," Jenkins said.

"Such an exercise would require the Court to create a quotient S@or standard in order to quantify any potential damages that flow from defendants' alleged act of contributing 30 percent of California's carbon dioxide emissions."

California officials indicated said they were disappointed with the decision and said they could still lodge an appeal.

"Obviously, we're very disappointed with the ruling, and we're going to read it very carefully," supervising deputy attorney general Ken Alex told AFP.

"We certainly have the ability to file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit and that will be a part of our calculation."

Alex said California had felt obliged to launch the legal action because of the failure of federal authorities to set more stringent standards over emissions.

"We do think that because the federal government has failed to act, this is a judicial obligation to jump in there where those entities have failed to act," he said.

California, the richest and most populous US state, has more than 35 million people and some 32 million registered vehicles. The biggest metropolitan area, Los Angeles, usually tops the list of the most polluted US cities.

August 31, 2006

California Enacts Nation's Toughest Global Warming Bill
Scientists and Economists Laid Groundwork for Legislation

The California Legislature today passed landmark legislation to create the nation's first economy-wide cap on global warming emissions, and Governor Schwarzenegger has agreed to sign the bill into law. The mounting scientific evidence gathered and produced by California's scientific community helped build the political will that led to this historic day.

"This bill marks a national turning point in the fight against global warming," said Jason Mark, California Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). "It sends a strong signal to the international community that Americans are committed to climate action despite Washington's intransigence."

Our Changing Climate, a scientific analysis developed by the state's California Climate Change Center in collaboration with UCS, demonstrated that if heat-trapping emissions are not reduced, California faces a future of poorer air quality, a sharp rise in extreme heat, a less reliable water supply, more large wildfires, and expanding risks to agriculture.

"California has a lot to lose from continued global warming but a lot to gain from taking action to lower emissions," said Dr. Amy Lynd Luers, UCS Climate Impacts Scientist and co-author of the new state report. "The mounting scientific evidence is the writing on the wall, and California policymakers have gotten the message."

Climate action can not only protect California from the most severe impacts of global warming, it can also boost the economy. A recent study by the University of California at Berkeley projects that meeting AB 32's emissions limits can boost the Gross State Product (GSP) by $60-74 billion and create 17,000-89,000 new jobs. Separately, UCS helped organize an open letter by 60 Ph.D. economists from across California, including 3 Nobel Laureates, urging them to accelerate climate action. The letter calls emissions caps a "particularly potent strategy" and warns that "the most expensive things we can do is nothing."

As the world's twelfth largest source of carbon dioxide, the chief global warming gas, California has a responsibility to act. And as the sixth largest global economy, California's efforts will reverberate around the globe as the state uses existing and new technologies to reduce emissions.

"With this groundbreaking legislation, California politicians have come together to lead the nation in taking action on global warming," said Dan Kalb, California Policy Coordinator for UCS. "This bill is a valuable template for other states and the federal government."

Our Changing Climate: Assessing the Risks to California, the UC Berkeley study, the economists' letter, and a summary of the legislation can all be viewed at http://www.climatechoices.org

AB 32 was passed by the state legislature on August 31, 2006. Governor Schwarzenegger has indicated that he will sign the bill into law. AB 32 sets in place the nationfs most comprehensive, economy-wide global warming emissions reduction program.
AB 32 requires the state
fs global warming emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. This reduction will be accomplished through an enforceable statewide cap on global warming emissions that will be phased in starting in 2012.
In order to effectively implement the cap, AB 32 directs the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop appropriate regulations and establish a mandatory reporting system to track and monitor global warming emissions levels. CARB is also the agency that will enforce the new regulations.

Mandatory Emissions Reporting
By January 1, 2008, CARB must adopt regulations creating a statewide global warming emissions reporting and monitoring system. The largest emitters will be required to report their emissions on an annual basis.

Setting the Cap
Also by January 1, 2008, CARB must determine what the level of global warming emissions was in 1990.
That level will become the emissions cap that must be met by 2020.

The Details - A Plan for Making Real Reductions
By June 30, 2007, CARB must develop a list of early action measures to be adopted by January 1, 2010 that can reduce emissions in the short term.
By January 1, 2009, CARB must prepare a plan for how the 2020 cap can be met in the most cost-effective manner. This plan may include a recommendation for a
gcap and tradeh system, in which carbon emissions gcreditsh in the amount of the cap are distributed and carbon emitters may buy and sell these credits.
If a cap and trade system is developed, the system must be designed to prevent any increase in the emission of toxic or criteria air pollution.
CARB will hold a series of public workshops on the plan and give interested parties a chance to make comments.

Implementing Regulations
On or before January 1, 2011, CARB must officially put into place specific regulations to achieve the global warming emission reductions. These regulations must be in effect by the start of 2012.
The bill requires CARB to ensure that regulations to reduce global warming emissions meet several criteria.
The regulations must:
E not disproportionately impact low-income communities;
E complement, and not interfere with, efforts to achieve and maintain federal and state air quality standards and to reduce toxic air pollution emissions;
E minimize leakage (where reductions in global warming emissions within California are offset by increases in emissions outside the state);
E ensure that global warming emissions reductions are real, permanent, quantifiable, and verifiable, and enforceable by CARB; and
E count only emissions reductions that are new - not those that would otherwise occur.

The regulations may also include setting declining annual emissions reduction targets, starting in 2012.

Emergency Provisions
The bill includes compromise language that states
gin the event of extraordinary circumstances, catastrophic events, or threat of significant economic harm, the Governor may adjust the applicable deadlines for individual regulations, or for the state in the aggregate, to the earliest feasible date after that deadline. The adjustment period may not exceed one year unless the Governor makes an additional adjustmentch
The language could be more tightly worded to use the provision only in extreme conditions, but political accountability will make it hard for future Governors to abuse it.