California pushing ahead with ambitious plan to fight global warming

Earlier this year, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) broke with the Bush administration’s do-nothing stance on global warming when he pledged that by 2050, his state would shrink its greenhouse-gas emissions to 80 percent of 1990 levels. On Thursday, the state’s Climate Action Team will release an aggressive plan for hitting that target. Its proposals are expected to include a greenhouse-gas cap-and-trade system, mandatory reporting on carbon dioxide emissions by industry, an emissions tax, and promotion of alternative fuels. The plan’s release coincides with the Montreal climate summit, where California and the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo jointly signed a pact on Monday to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. According to a new report from Stanford University, California’s strict environmental laws have saved businesses and citizens $56 billion since the 1970s, mostly thanks to increases in efficiency.