5 U.S. Local & State Government Officials Putting the Environment First

California's Carbon Terminator: Governor Arnold Swarzenegger

Who knew that the Terminator would become California's Carbon Crusader?

In the fall of 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed a bill creating the nation's first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Schwarzenegger also signed a second global warming bill that prohibits large utilities and corporations in California from making long-term contracts with suppliers who do not meet the state's greenhouse gas emission standards. The two bills are part of California's plan to reduce emissions 25% by 2020.

Schwarzenegger signed another executive order on October 2006 allowing California to work with the Northeast's RGGI. They plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by issuing a limited amount of carbon credits to each power plant in participating states. Any power plants that exceed emissions for the amount of carbon credits they have will have to purchase more credits to cover the difference. The plan goes into effect in 2009.

Schwarzenegger is also the only person I have heard of, who had adapted a Hummer to run on hydrogen and biofuels.

Moving San Francisco Forward: Mayor Gavin Newsom

photo via examiner.com

San Francisco's sustainability plan, called "SForward" is Mayor Newsom's roadmap to achieve his target of 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2010. While many cities have set strong emission reduction goals, and many Mayors have put the target date way out into the future, 2010 is just around the corner. The plan also aims for San Francisco to achieve carbon neutrality within the city government by 2020. Climate protection standards are being incorporated into the City's General Plan
and performance measures. San Francisco is also developing a framework for a carbon tax and carbon fund.

Mayor Newsom is also trying to get more people to use public transportation by building public transit projects such as the Transbay Terminal & the Central Subway. Newsom also plans to expand "SF Go," a transportation management system. Bike-sharing programs will operate out of bus shelters and car-sharing cars will get designated parking spaces, which anyone who has driven around SF searching for parking knows are a plum incentive.

Mayor Newsom has also stepped up energy efficiency efforts by submitting legislation that would stop the use of the outdated T-12 light bulb, and encourage switching to the T-8 bulb. T-8 bulbs are 40% more energy efficient. San Francisco also drew green envy from other cities this summer when the gardens at City Hall, became Victory farm gardens and the site of a Slow Food summit over Labor Day.

More on Governor Swarzenegger
Schwarzenegger Invites Global Leaders to Talk Carbon Caps
Schwarzenegger Heads Climate Coalition of Cities and Corporations
Whitehouse Lobbied Against Schwarzenegger Environmental Initiative
More on Mayor Newsom
Solar Energy Incentives Approved in California
Mayor Newsom says Environmental Justice is the Great Challenge of our time
Mayor Newsom Bans Bottled Water
San Francisco Becomes First City to Start Carbon Offset Program

Next Up: Doing the Green Thing in Chicago & Miami

Tags: California | Carbon Emissions | Florida | Green Building | Illinois | Public Transportation | Renewable Energy | United States


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