Friday, February 18, 2005

California Bypasses Bush to Fight Global Warming

It's great to be a Californian for many reasons. One reason is the multitude of progressive public policies that seem to elude much of the rest of the US and certainly the Bush Administration.

Here's one reason that makes this native daughter proud....excerpts from a San Francisco Chronicle story. Read the
entire article here.

"As the Kyoto Protocol went into effect Wednesday, obligating its 141 member nations to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases linked to climate change, the accountants and engineers at PG&E were hard at work on tasks that could become almost as important for Planet Earth.

The electricity giant is carefully assessing the innumerable facets of its California power network, cutting back its output of greenhouse gases...and gradually switching to generators that use renewable energy technologies.

It's part of a move by some leading corporations, directed by California state regulatory agencies and echoed by a growing number of other state governments, to bypass the Kyoto debate and take direct action against global warming.

'PG&E recognizes that climate change is an important issue, both for the country and the electric industry, and we're taking a proactive role in grappling with it,' said Wendy Pulling, director of environmental policy at PG&E.

To be sure, important questions remain in the Kyoto Protocol debate. Will Europe and Japan, which must make deep cuts in their emissions under the treaty, be able to do so without hurting their economies? Will the U.S. government, which pulled out of the protocol in 2001, continue to oppose international negotiations on climate change? And will the companies make painful cuts in operations that are polluting yet profitable?

But many experts say California's actions could help defuse the tensions in Washington and bring pressure on President Bush and Congress to take action against global warming, with or without Kyoto...."

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