NRDC and WSPA, CMTA and Chamber of Commerce Jointly Support Bill that Establishes Review Process for New AB 32 Offset Protocols

Conventional wisdom is that politics these days is nothing more than a bunch of polarized special-interests that can’t agree on anything. Well it simply ain’t true.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) have joined forces with the Western States Petroleum Association, California Manufacturers and Technology Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, and the California League of Food Processors in support of AB 2563, which will be heard by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee next Monday afternoon. 

California’s cap and trade program is designed to contribute to the ambitious environmental goals of AB 32 by establishing an emissions cap that allows for the use of offsets for compliance. To date, the Air Resources Board has adopted four compliance offset protocols: forests, urban forestry, ozone-depleting substances, and livestock methane capture.

AB 2563, authored by Cameron Smyth, a Republican assembly member from Santa Clarita, would direct ARB to continue to build on that record by establishing a public process for the review and consideration of new offset protocols, including a regularly updated online schedule and tracking system and a primary point of contact, a description of how public comments will be accommodated, and an explanation of the criteria that will be used for evaluating potential new offset protocols. The bill also clearly expresses the legislature’s intent that “only high-quality offset credits that meet the statutory requirements of [AB 32] be allowed for compliance.”

This bill is proof that diverse interests can come together on legislation that benefits both the economy and the environment. As the WSPA, CMTA and Chamber of Commerce letter noted, AB 2563 will “help increase program certainty,” “maximize benefits under AB 32,” and “help minimize the costs of the cap-and-trade program and lower the risk of economic and emissions leakage.”

NRDC agrees. And we look forward to continue to work with our colleagues across the political spectrum to build solutions that protect the environment and make good business sense.