California, Florida, Virginia

by William Yeatman on July 2, 2008

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released its draft "scoping plan," which lays out the regulatory steps needed to comply with AB 32. It calls for an ambitious cap-and-trade program involving seven Western States and three Canadian provinces, more fuel-efficient vehicles, a big hike in wind and solar power, more energy-efficient appliances and stricter building standards, and even sets up a voluntary program to build methane digesters over manure pits at the state's dairies and ranches. CARB chair Mary Nichols told the LA Times that the regulations will have a “net positive economic impact,” but Republican lawmakers disagree, and they have indicated that they will fight the implementation of CARB’s proposals during budget deliberations this summer.


In Florida, Republican Governor Charlie Crist kicked off the state’s second annual climate summit by signing new energy legislation, HB 7135. Other than making construction more expensive by forcing builders to adhere to costly “green” standards, the law contains little policy. Rather, it calls upon state regulators to develop plans to increase Florida’s supply of renewable energy and reduce emissions.


Dominion Virginia Power cleared the last regulatory hurdle for a proposed $1.8 billion coal-fired power plant in Wise, Va., after the Air Pollution Control Board voted 5-0 to permit the facility. The Board’s approval was conditional on Dominion Power significantly reducing sulfur emissions, as well as the conversion of a coal-fired plant in central Virginia to natural gas. The plant could, however, face legal challenges from environmental groups that oppose coal power.

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