--The idea that state action in the U.S. would have reverberations beyond our borders continues to gain demonstrative weight, courtesy of British Columbia moving to adopt California's clean-cars standards. Numerous Canadian provinces had endorsed California's actions, but British Columbia-- which also intends to join several U.S. states in the Western Climate Initiative's forthcoming carbon trading program-- is the first to act on them.
--Ironically, back in California, some Republican state legislators are gearing up for budget negotiations by demanding several regulatory changes, including a one-year delay on implementing the state's landmark GHG reduction law. The Sacramento Bee notes that last year's environmentally-tinged budget standoff did result in some concessions to this crowd. It fails, however, to add that they failed to restrict Attorney General Jerry Brown's efforts-- under the aegis of a decades-old state environmental law, and in anticipation of the targets set by the aforementioned carbon-capping law-- to make land-use planning a tool for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
--Florida Governor Charlie Crist is now set to sign the comprehensive climate bill that we mentioned in last week's roundup. Environmental groups, while excited by much of the bill, are concerned about one provision that was tacked on at the last minute:
The Senate adopted the House version of the bill, which included a requirement that the Legislature approve any plans by a state agency to adopt California's stringent auto emission standards.
Critics of the measure, including some environmental groups, said waiting for ratification would slow Florida's efforts to aggressively curb greenhouse gas emissions, as mandated in executive orders signed by Crist at a climate change summit last summer in Miami Beach.
Sen. Burt Saunders, R-Naples, the Senate bill's sponsor, countered the measure was not ``the end of the story in terms of vehicle emissions.''
''This is an issue the Legislature will be debating down the road,'' Saunders said.
--Out in Iowa, citizens' groups, hoping to get state regulators to follow Kansas' lead and halt plans for a new coal-fired power plant, met with a temporary setback Wednesday, as the Iowa Utilities Board granted preliminary approval to Alliant Energy's plans. The approval was, however, contingent upon conditions that mandated greater efficiency, use of renewable fuels, and future deployment of carbon capture-and-storage technology. Opponents intend to continue fighting the plant at the next stage of the permitting process, before the state's Department of Natural Resources.
--And last, yet certainly not least, a new poll commissioned by the Presidential Climate Action Project shows that two-thirds of adult Americans want the next President to have a strong climate change policy, with 63% demanding presidential action soon after taking office. More on this soon, we promise...