By Nicole Moore
California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez's 14-year-old daughter was instrumental in the crafting of his sweeping greenhouse gas legislation, the speaker said today at NCSL's Fall Forum in San Antonio.
Núñez and a colleague, Assemblymember Fran Pavley, had this plan for their global warming bill: Propose mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases as well as mandatory reporting of emissions, and then settle on just mandatory reporting. It would be a step in the right direction. He explained the strategy to his daughter.
"She said, 'What's that going to do, Dad? That's not going to help,'" Núñez recounted. So the speaker decided to go for broke.
"I figured if this was going to be a priority," Núñez said, "I needed not to think about what outcome was practicable, but what outcome was necessary."
Assembly Bill 32 included both reporting and reductions of greenhouse gases when it was signed into law in 2006. Under it, the California Air Resources Board must start a program by 2008 to require industries to report carbon dioxide emissions and establish caps. By 2020, industries must reduce carbon output to 1990 levels.
"It's one of the times where I don't mind going back in history in California," Núñez said.
Listen to his the speaker discuss the background of the bill. Listen to him discuss the process of getting it through and the economic benefits of going green.