California's AB 1404 Passes!

The final AB 1404 Scoreboard
The final AB 1404 Scoreboard
In a narrow 21-to-19 vote on Saturday, the California Senate passed AB 1404, which would strictly limit offsets in California's global warming program and entirely exclude the CDM!

This landmark bill would make the California legislature the first US governmental body to put such strict limits on the use of offsets. According to Erin Rogers of the Union of Concerned Scientists,

"If we cut global warming pollution in California, we will create local jobs, clean up the air, and promote clean energy technology. That's why more than 90 labor, public health, business, religious, social equity and environmental groups support this bill. Governor Schwarzenegger should secure his legacy of leadership on climate change by signing this bill into law." (See here for the full Press Release.)

Over the past few months, thousands of citizens and activists (including International Rivers supporters) wrote letters to Assembly and Senate members, made calls, visited local representatives, and educated their friends and family about the important health and job benefits of minimizing offsets and maximizing local emissions reductions. Some even dared to bring up the acronym-filled topic of the CDM and how excluding it in California would send a strong message to the California Air Resource Board, and federal and international lawmakers that a faulty, highly criticized program will not suffice.

In the next few weeks, we'll be gearing up to urge the Governator to sign in the bill. Until then, thank you, California folks, for all your support! Now go out and celebrate.