Air Resources Board
Doesn’t Cave But Doesn’t Lead Either
09/23/10 Filed in: Climate
The Air Resources Board
(ARB) adopted today a set of GHG emissions reduction
targets for each of California’s regions. The
building industry had conducted an intense campaign
to get ARB to reduce the proposed targets to
less-challenging levels. TRANSDEF’s President, David
Schonbrunn, testified about how the proposed targets
were inadequate to even keep current levels of GHGs
from motor vehicles from growing. Here’s his
I should have marked my speaker card Reluctant
TRANSDEF, the Transportation Solutions Defense and
Education Fund, submitted a letter noting that we
believe the bottoms up process used here was
inappropriate in achieving a science based result. It
was, instead, an inherently political process.
The climate truly does not care about the willingness
of humans to change their lifestyles. Science tells
us that serious reductions are needed in the very
near term to prevent an accumulation of GHGs that
will result in irreversible changes to the climate.
The proposed targets will not do that.
These targets will result in increased emissions in
this sector, due to population growth. This is going
in the wrong direction, and would send the wrong
signal to the rest of the world about ARB’s view of
the need for urgent reductions in GHG emissions.
We recognize you have a difficult problem in front of
you, with the challenges posed by the oil and
building industries. While we consider these
challenges to be nothing short of suicidal in the
long term, we recognize you need to deal with them.
I reviewed the Building Industry Association comment
letters and found them to be based on arcane
calculations they did themselves. The results of
those calculations appear to be counterintuitive, and
result in conclusions that are the opposite of our
own. Their concern about CEQA vulnerability of
projects is completely misplaced–a well designed
project can show reductions upwards of 40%.
It would be our strong preference for ARB to adopt
targets that result in a minimum of 5 Million Metric
Tons of CO2 equivalent by 2020. However, if you are
not going to do that, we ask that you adopt the staff
proposal and reject the comments by the building
industry as based in faulty math and faulty
understanding of the transportation regulatory