SLAC Colloquium Series

SLAC Colloquium Series


Colloquium Detail

How to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Maintain a Viable Economy:

Date: 2/11/2008

Jeffrey Byron
California Energy Commissioner

In late 2006 the California Legislature passed and the Governor, perhaps the world's most famous spokesman for curbing greenhouse gasses, signed landmark legislation (Assembly Bill 32) to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions within California by 2020. At the same time, a related piece of legislation was also enacted that had a more immediate and widespread effect. Senate Bill 1368 called for a carbon emission performance standard for all new financial transactions for power plants in California and effectively throughout the West, which has virtually halted construction of coal-fired power plants. In the absence of federal leadership on this issue, California, the world's sixth largest economy, has become the nation's prototype and proving-ground for reducing carbon output while maintaining a vibrant and growing economy. In unprecedented fashion, state agencies are working together to establish regulations, enforce a complex new law, and demonstrate how federal action could best proceed. As a result, there is a compelling need to understand the science of climate change, the economic impact of regulatory actions, and how market forces will respond. This is not California's first effort balancing environmental mandates, a growing population, all while supporting economic development; but this may be its most challenging

Last update: October 03, 2013