We are pleased that ARB continues to move forward with implementing the enforceable cap on greenhouse gas emissions set by the Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32, and is doing so through an open public process. The preliminary draft regulation, as expected, does not answer the most important question – whether polluters will have to pay for all their emissions – since the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee has not yet finished its recommendations.
In addition to requiring polluters to pay for their emissions, the final regulation will need to tighten up several loopholes in the draft in order to successfully implement the Global Warming Solutions Act’s limit on greenhouse pollution:
· The draft allows polluters far too liberal use of offsets to buy their way out of reducing their emissions; almost half of all emission reductions could come from such offsets, which would undermine California’s efforts to green our economy and grow jobs in new clean technologies;
· The 3-year compliance period is too long – polluters should have to surrender their emissions permits every year;
· The final rules need to assure that emissions trading does not compromise air quality and environmental justice in communities most affected by industrial pollution;
· ARB should specify how it will enforce its rules swiftly and surely to prevent polluters from getting away with violations as a mere cost of doing business;
· In order to avoid exporting pollution and jobs to other states and countries, ARB should account for all emissions associated with cement imported into California, as it plans to do with electricity.