California's Greenhouse Gas Blueprint Due Thursday

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It's been more than a year-and-a-half since California passed a landmark bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in the next decade or so. Thursday, the California Air Resources Board will unveil its plan to make that happen. KPCC's Julie Small offers a preview.

Julie Small: The plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels will use regulations already on the books. For example, California has a law in place now that requires automakers to sell low emission vehicles in the state.

It also requires energy companies to sell fuel from renewable sources. But the plan from the state Air Resources Board will tackle new territory, too. Perhaps most significantly, it'll set carbon caps for the state's big polluters.

Dan Sperling: You know, the world is watching us on what we do here.

Small: Dan Sperling is an alternative fuels expert at UC Davis, and a member of the Air Resources Board.

Sperling: California is a leader and a model, and what we do here is important, not only in terms of what we actually accomplish here, but in many ways it's even more important as a model for the rest of the country and the rest of the world, because if we are the only ones to reduce greenhouse gases, in California, then we haven't accomplished very much.

Small: Sperling says the plan by the Air Resources Board will call on everyone, not just business and government, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The board plans to hold months of public hearings on the carbon-cutting plan, figure out what to keep, what to change, and what to toss, and then vote on it this fall.