The passage of the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) was only the first step in attempting to reduce green house gases in California. As with any law, the devil is always in the details. PSR-LA staff is now involved in the implementation of AB 32. Over the next few months PSR-LA will be reviewing and commenting on the AB 32 Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan. According to the California Air Resources Board, the overall goals for the plan are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance public health.
The scoping plan was released for public review and comment on June 26, 2008, and will go to the California Air Resources Board for adoption in November, 2008. PSR-LA is calling on the Board to more adequately describe how it will assess the health and community impacts of its proposals to reduce green house gases.
The plan contains a range of greenhouse gas emission reduction actions including direct regulations, alternative compliance mechanisms, monetary and non-monetary incentives, voluntary actions, and market-based mechanisms (better known as cap-and-trade systems).
What the scoping plan does not contain is a thoughtful plan for assessing the public health impacts of any of its proposed actions. While the draft scoping plan speaks of health co benefits, there is no plan for how to analyze health impacts. It is also not clear what resources the CA Air Resources Board will dedicate to analyzing the possible health benefits or risks associated with its policy recommendations. The plan also does not acknowledge the possible negative health impacts of cap-and-trade programs being proposed.