Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Greenhouse Gas Alliance of Western States

Given the reluctance of the U.S. Federal Government to tackle the problem of global warming, five Western states have taken action on their own to institute regional measures for lowering greenhouse gas emissions. As reported in this San Francisco Chronicle article, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the governors of Arizona, Washington, New Mexico, and Oregon forged an agreement to lower emissions and set up the framework for buying and selling carbon emission credits. California leads in nationwide efforts to enact legislation to drive down emissions, but the cooperation of other Western states will hopefully lead to progressive measures and similar legislation being passed in their locales. Some of the states have a long way to go:
While Schwarzenegger last year signed legislation banning the state's electric utilities from acquiring new megawatts from power plants that burn coal to produce electricity, both Arizona and New Mexico generate much of their power from coal, which is a heavy greenhouse gas contributor. One power plant in Arizona landed last year on a nonpartisan environmental group's list of the 50 worst carbon dioxide emitters in the country.

Both Arizona and New Mexico are considering proposals for new coal-fired power plants.