On September 27, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Núñez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006). The event marked a watershed moment in California’s history. By requiring in law a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, California set the stage for its transition to a sustainable, clean energy future. This historic step also helped put climate change on the national agenda, and has spurred action by many other states.
The California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) is the lead agency for implementing AB 32, which set the major milestones for establishing the program. ARB met the first milestones in 2007: developing a list of discrete early actions to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions, assembling an inventory of historic emissions, establishing greenhouse gas emission reporting requirements, and setting the 2020 emissions limit.
ARB must develop a Scoping Plan outlining the State’s strategy to achieve the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions limit. This Scoping Plan, developed by ARB in coordination with the Climate Action Team (CAT), proposes a comprehensive set of actions designed to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in California, improve our environment, reduce our dependence on oil, diversify our energy sources, save energy, create new jobs, and enhance public health.
This “Approved Scoping Plan” was adopted by the Board at its December 11, 2008 meeting. The measures in this Scoping Plan will be developed over the next two years and be in place by 2012
Coglianese, Cary, Heather Kilmartin and Evan Mendelson. Transparency and Public Participation in the Rulemaking Process. A Non Partisan Presidential Transition Task Force Report. July 2008, 54 pages.
The Task Force was chaired by Prof. Cary Coglianese of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and Ashley Brown was one of several members.
The restructuring of the U.S. electric power industry has been described as “one of the largest single industrial reorganizations in the history of the world.” As with deregulation and reform of other industries, electricity restructuring was intended to produce cost efficiencies and price benefits to consumers. Whether it has achieved its stated objective is the focus of a number of recent studies that are examined in this review. The studies differ in numerous important ways – most importantly, in their methodologies and their conclusions. The focus of this review is on the strengths and limitations of their specific methodologies and, hence, on the confidence one might place in their conclusions. The article begins by setting out the basic methodological approaches employed in public policy evaluation. It then illustrates these points with examples from methodologies employed in several studies of electricity restructuring, concluding that several methodological deficiencies call into question the study results. In particular, despite much advocacy, there is little reliable and convincing evidence that consumers are better off as a result of the restructuring of the U.S. electric power industry.