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CA Air Resources Board To Set Cap On Carbon Emissions For San Diego

Audio

Aired 7/23/10

California’s Air Resources Board is scheduled to decide next month on a cap for carbon emissions in San Diego over the next 25 years. There’s a struggle between those who want to see aggressive goals, and those who fear that would harm the economy.

California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) is scheduled to decide next month on a cap for carbon emissions in San Diego over the next 25 years. There’s a struggle between those who want to see aggressive goals, and those who fear that would harm the economy.

Members of CARB were in San Diego to get public input on how aggressive to be with carbon reduction goals. The San Diego region has some of the highest carbon emission levels per capita in the state.

Some of those who testified begged the board to set ambitious goals so their grandchildren’s lifestyle will not be spoiled by the lifestyle choices of the current generation.

But Matthew Adams of the Building Industry Association warned the board about overambitious carbon reduction goals.

"While there’s been a lot of talk about aggressive targets," he said, "it must be tempered and weighed thoughtfully with clear economic realities. If you reach too hard and too far and too fast, there could be negative economic consequences."

Duncan McFetridge of Save Our Forests and Ranchlands told the state board that, without ambitious carbon reduction goals, the San Diego region will continue to expand freeways instead of increasing public transit.

"If you set low standards," McFetridge said, "you’re going to encourage a pattern that has resulted in a community that is on a path of self destruction for its health, for its environment and its economy."

Don Wood of the Pacific Energy Policy Center said the state should not adopt per capita goals that would be undermined by population growth in the future. He also said the state needs to monitor the progress of regions with independent testing.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has suggested a goal of between 5 and 19 percent carbon reduction by 2035.

The agency, made up of all 18 cities and the county, meets on Friday to make its final recommendation. The state will then decide whether to approve that goal.

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