The California Air Resources Board issued a statement yesterday in response to the Superior Court’s recent decision in the AB 32 Scoping Plan lawsuit. Californians should take heart – the statement spells good news for our efforts to protect public health and stay out in front in the global push for clean energy.
The Air Board identified three courses of action it will take in the wake of the decision to ensure AB 32 implementation remains on track: it will work with plaintiffs to narrow the scope of the decision such that all of the Scoping Plan programs are not put on hold (which plaintiffs have publicly indicated is not their intent); it will appeal the decision when the entry of judgment is final; and it will begin work immediately to resolve the issues in the Scoping Plan CEQA analysis that the court identified.
Most importantly, the statement makes clear that CARB is committed to do whatever it takes to keep AB 32 on track.
Although CARB will appeal the decision, it is encouraging to hear the agency is maintaining a dialogue with the plaintiffs and is already working to revise the alternatives analysis that the judge found lacking. That is the course of action that puts the good of the program first.
If CARB stays committed to the aggressive schedule it has established to supplement the Scoping Plan CEQA analysis, the AB 32 program can remain on schedule and we can begin to move the remaining issues out of the courts and back into the public rulemaking process.
I’d say that is an outcome we can all celebrate.