Friday, November 18, 2011

Governor withdraws Arizona from climate initiative

The Brewer administration on Wednesday withdrew from the Western Climate Initiative, ending several years of efforts by states and Canadian provinces to force a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Henry Darwin, director of the Department of Environmental Quality, said the problem with the initiative is it proposed a "cap and trade" system. That requires major polluters -- in the case of Arizona, the coal-fired power plants run by utilities -- to reduce carbon dioxide and other emissions or buy credits from other companies which have exceeded their reduction goals. Arizona's participation was ordered in 2008 by Janet Napolitano, the prior governor. But Darwin said the current administration believes there are "more effective, responsible ways" to improve health and the environment "while avoiding the economic costs to the industries that are subject to cap and trade." Darwin said while Arizona is withdrawing from the Western Climate Initiative, with its cap-and-trade system, it is instead joining North America 2050, an organization of states that will explore the issue of greenhouse gas emissions but leave it up to each member to decide what makes sense, both environmentally and economically...more

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