Coming and going on global warming

nunez.jpgEven as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wraps up his trip to Washington, D.C., today, state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, are on their way there.

They’ll testify Thursday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works — chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. — about what California is doing to combat global warming. Perata’s office says he’ll talk about the state’s progress; how the federal government can help lead the way in ending our addiction to fossil fuels; and why reducing greenhouses gases is good for the economy.

perata.jpgPerata yesterday had issued a statement applauding the govenor’s signing of a memorandum of understanding with four other Western states to create the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, a joint strategy to fight global warming.

“The Governor, Assembly Speaker and I are all in agreement that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and countering climate change must continue to be top priorities for the state of California,” Perata had said. “Treaties, MOUs, market mechanisms and long-range targets are all part of the equation, as AB 32 allows. But we must also take immediate steps in our own backyard to clean up our air, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, and push renewable energy and alternative fuels.”

“I hope the governor will consider Senate Democrats’ package of greenhouse gas reduction bills with the same open-mindedness and enthusiasm he has treaties with other states and countries. The challenge of climate change is so big it requires a full range of solutions.”

But as of last week, it didn’t sound as if the governor was feeling warmly about the Democrat’s proposed bills: Press Secretary Aaron McLear issued a statement saying California’s AB 32 “serves a model that other states are looking to replicate. We cannot abandon AB 32 just seven weeks after it became law. We should work together to reduce climate change by implementing AB 32, not undermining it.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.