Brown signs West Coast pact on climate change
October 29, 2013
Governor Jerry Brown joined the governors of Oregon and Washington and the premier of British Columbia Monday to sign a West Coast pact on fighting climate change. [Mercury News]
The Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy commits the three states and the Canadian province to about a dozen actions, including streamlining permits for solar and wind projects, supporting research on ocean acidification and purchasing electric vehicles for government use.
“You are witnessing a historic small but powerful first step,” Brown said Monday. “Next year and the year after and the year after that, this will spread until finally we get a real handle and grasp on what is the world’s greatest existential challenge — the stability of our climate, on which we all depend.”
The pact also commits the states and province to supporting new rules from the Obama Administration that will set limits on carbon emissions from power plants. The rules, which are expected to take effect next year, will make it nearly impossible to build new coal-fired plants and will likely raise electricity bills in many states that depend on coal.
The governors of Oregon and Washington, both Democrats, also announced support for cap and trade policies in their states. In Washington, Republicans, who have opposed cap and trade, control the state Senate.
California already has a cap and trade law, AB 32, which former governor Arnold Schwarzengger signed in 2006. AB 32, which took effect last year, requires oil companies, factories and power plants to hold permits for the carbon pollution they emit.