In Hollywood today former California governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis talked up the state's efforts to cut atmosphere-warming pollution and develop cleaner sources of energy.
Both former governors said large-scale solar, wind and geothermal projects should gain approval more quickly than they do now. Davis said conservation activists need to face up to some tough choices.
"When we're trying to build renewables out in the desert," said Davis, "and people say, 'Well, I don't like the noise of these wind farms, they're too loud. I don't like the glare of these solar panels, and I don't want a transmission line coming within 5 miles of my property.' Get real! I mean you've got to make choices in life."
Davis and Schwarzenegger spoke at the ninth annual Navigating the American Carbon World conference, a conference of regulators and entrepreneurs who work in climate markets – where polluting businesses trade credits and reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they produce. Davis and Schwarzenegger touted California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases at the state level and the state's agreements to cut carbon and share clean technology with other regional governments.
Davis also said he would encourage rooftop solar energy and continued energy efficiency for California.
Schwarzenegger defends California's commitment to fighting global warming
Schwarzenegger defended California's commitment to combating global warming.
Schwarzenegger argues reducing dependence on foreign oil is a crucial part of an energy policy adapted to climate change. Trouble is, he says, Democratic and Republican leaders at the national level aren't doing anything about it.
“We have no vision," says Schwarzenegger. "We have no goal. We do not know in Washington right now what do we need 20 years from now how much oil do we need, how much onshore drilling do we need, how much offshore drilling do we need, how much renewable energy do we need, how much energy conservation do we need, how many nuclear plants do we need, we don't know any of that.”
Ed Begley Jr. calls for utilities, state agencies to pay for energy audits
California officials say a big part of any state effort towards less pollution is energy efficiency. Environmental activist and actor Ed Begley Jr. told the group today that he believes local utilities and state agencies should pay for an audit of every American home's energy efficiency.
"And I'm not talking about a clipboard audit," said Begley. "In 2008 this couple came to me and said, Ed, we want to do a home energy audit on your house. Why would I do a home energy audit? I've done all this stuff! I've got double-paned windows, recycled denim in the attic, blue cellulose in the walls, solar panels on the roof. What are you going to find? There's nothing left! They found things in my home. I cut my very low natural gas bill in half."
The conference is sponsored by the Climate Action Reserve – an L.A.-based group that aims to set standards for how polluting businesses and governments trade and reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to a warming planet. It continues at the Renaissance Hotel in Hollywood through Friday.