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California to Reap Economic Benefits from Cutting Emissions

September 29, 2008

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California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 12 years will benefit California's economy and save its residents money, according to a report from the state’s Air Resources Board.

The Air Resources Board analysis found that the state's economy would grow at a faster rate than if it did nothing to cut the emissions.  Under the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the state must cut its emissions to 1990 levels — a reduction of roughly one-third — by 2020.  In June, the board proposed a series of ambitious measures to require cleaner-burning vehicles, increase renewable energy and impose an emissions cap on major polluters.

According to the study, the proposed changes would result in 100,000 new jobs, boost the state economy by $27 billion and increase personal income by $14 billion.  Individual households would save $400 a year because of improvements in energy inefficiency, and per capita income would rise by $200.  Investments made by businesses to comply with global warming regulations eventually will save them money as they become more efficient.

Said Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board: "Our historical effort here in California to deal with the crisis of global warming will also have the benefit of saving (Californians) money because the measure that we are going to be using to fight global warming also implements energy efficiency, creates green-collar jobs and provides other investment opportunities for our investment community as well."

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