Here's an irony: After last year's bruising battle to save California's comprehensive anti-global warming law from being suspended by an oil industry-backed initiative, it's a lawsuit by environmental groups that could end up throwing a monkeywrench into the state's plans.
Yesterday we wrote that KQED's Climate Watch had picked up on a post on the Legal Planet blog flagging a California superior court judge's tentative decision barring the state from implementing AB 32, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.
The ruling, if finalized, would decree that the state's Air Resources Board comply with the California Environmental Quality Act in considering alternatives to the cap-and-trade approach it settled on.
Today's Chronicle sheds further light on the tentative decision:
Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the air board approved the larger plan to implement AB32 prior to completing the required environmental review, and that the board failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap and trade. The Air Resources Board "seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap-and-trade program before alternative (sic) can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by the ARB itself," Goldsmith found, adding that the air board's "analysis provides no evidence to support its chosen approach."
..."There's a way to both be supportive of AB32 implementation but to be responsible in that support and ethical in that support, and we ask the same of the board," said Alegría De La Cruz, legal director for (plaintiff) the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment.
Environmental advocates have for months raised concerns about whether the air board was adequately addressing the impacts of implementing AB32 on disadvantaged communities. Full article
Craig Miller also addressed the decision on The California Report this morning. Miller summarized the cap and trade system and the concerns of environmental justice groups to it.