At the Renewable Energy Finance Forum West , California Air Resources Board (CARB) Chairman Mary Nichols urged the clean energy industry to amp up its efforts to make the state’s new economy-wide carbon cap and trade program a successful precedent for other states and the Federal government.
During her Sept. 27 keynote address in San Francisco, Nichols assured the audience that her agency has no desire to delay the state’s carbon cap and trade program. She added that the private sector must play an ongoing key role in continuing the momentum to a cleaner energy future with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The market is on track to launch in November, Nichols said, despite the fact that some “continue to fight tooth and nail” to prevent the program from starting on time or to prevent greenhouse gas reductions.
To create a successful program that others will want to follow, Nichols said, California needs to accelerate energy-efficiency retrofitting and bring the cost of renewable and zero emissions fuels down. The state must also deliver on some new technology and financial instruments.
Should the program fail, she continued, it would deal a devastating blow to climate action. “In the face of some tough times [with current low natural gas prices], we need all of you to persist in the great work you are doing. We cannot afford to have the companies innovating and forward thinking sitting on the sidelines to wait for dust to settle.”
While she was not optimistic about the chances for a Federal cap and trade program, Nichols praised her state for forging ahead to show leadership on the issue of climate change and cap and trade. She expects the state blessed with “incredible” renewable resources and people “devoted to have California be a wonderful place to live” to stay the course regardless of what Congress does. “I don’t see that changing,” she said. Source: SNL Energy Power Daily, 9/28/12