A Spat on the Back
California governator at odds with biz lobby over plan to cut CO2
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s til-now cozy relationship with the California Chamber of Commerce has hit turbulence over the Republican governator’s ambitious proposal to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The chamber has denounced a preliminary report from the California EPA’s climate action team, which predicts that fulfilling Arnie’s pledge to cut the state’s CO2 pollution 80 percent by 2050 could create 83,000 new jobs over 15 years. The chamber — fronting a coalition including agricultural and heavy-industry interests — claims that mandatory emissions caps could hurt profits and drive businesses to states with more permissive regulations. (No word yet on whether massive climate disruption might hurt profits.) Schwarzenegger himself has publicly opposed the climate team’s recommendation to tax wholesale gas and diesel sales to raise funds for alternative-energy research. Whether he’ll stick his neck out to support mandatory emissions caps remains to be seen.