State Capitol News
Thu April 10, 2008
State senate blocks Governor's climate change plan
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – State senators moved Wednesday to block Governor Janet Napolitano from mandating reduced greenhouse gas emissions and imposing new standards on the vehicles that can be sold here. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports.
The vote by the Committee on Natural Resources and Rural Affairs
is a direct response to the order the governor gave the
Department of Environmental Quality to adopt the same emission
standards for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases approved
in California. DEQ Deputy Director Patrick Cunningham said it
will improve air quality. And he said that's within the power
legislators gave his agency. But Knox Kimberly who lobbies for
the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers told lawmakers that is
stretching the law.
(There are ways to get authority directly. And then there are
ways to weave together a bunch of things to claim the authority
indirectly. OK? Don't be be fooled. You never authorized them to
adopt California fuel economy standards.)
DEQ has admitted the standards will increase the cost of new
vehicles by about $1,000. But the agency said that would be
offset by the fact that the emission reductions would come
through better gasoline mileage and the engines will require less
maintenance, saving consumers money. Sen. Jake Flake admitted
Napolitano could just veto this bill. But he said the way around
that may be attaching its provisions to some other environmental
legislation the governor wants.
For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.