11 Feb 2010, 2:55pm
Latest Climate News
by admin

Arizona quits Western climate endeavor

Cutting greenhouse gases too expensive, Brewer says

by Shaun McKinnon, The Arizona Republic, Feb. 11, 2010 [here]

Arizona will no longer participate in a groundbreaking attempt to limit greenhouse-gas emissions across the West, a change in policy by Gov. Jan Brewer that will include a review of all the state’s efforts to combat climate change.

Brewer stopped short of pulling Arizona out of the multistate coalition that plans to regulate greenhouse gases starting in 2012. But she made it clear in an executive order that Arizona will not endorse the emission-control plan or any program that could raise costs for consumers and businesses.

State officials said the policy shift was rooted in concerns that the controversial emissions plan would slow the state’s economic recovery. Brewer says the state should focus less on regulations and more on renewable energy and investments by businesses that can create green jobs.

The governor also ordered the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to take another look at stricter vehicle-emissions rules set to take effect in 2012. Automakers said the rules, based on those adopted by California, would raise the cost of a new car significantly.

The governor’s order is another blow to the Western Climate Initiative, a group of seven states and four Canadian provinces that joined forces in 2007 after growing impatient with the federal government to address climate change.

The coalition agreed to implement a regional “cap and trade” system, which limits how much pollution companies can emit, then allows them to buy and sell pollution credits. …

The Western group is one of several state-led coalitions formed to regulate greenhouse gases. A group of Northeastern states is in the second year of its cap-and-trade system, one that only regulates electric utilities.

A federal plan has stalled in the Senate and is unlikely to move anytime soon. … [more]

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