Arizona Shuns Regional Initiative’s GHG Emissions Trading Rules

An executive order issued by Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, directs the state’s Department of Environmental Quality not to adopt rules under the Western Climate Initiative’s (WCI’s) cap-and-trade program without legislative authorization—but it stops short of withdrawing the state from the coalition that plans to implement a regional emissions trading program by January 2012.

The executive order (PDF) says that the state will not endorse the mandatory emission control plan or any program that could raise costs for consumers and businesses, but it would remain part of the WCI to ensure that the Arizona’s unique perspective will be advanced and considered in the development of the WCI program.

The regional climate initiative, established in 2007, includes seven states and four Canadian provinces. The coalition requires partners to set an overall regional goal to reduce emissions, develop a market-based, multi-sector mechanism to help achieve that goal, and participate in a cross-border greenhouse gas registry.

Arizona joined the effort under its previous governor, Janet Napolitano, a Democrat. The state’s Legislature has tried several times to dismantle the state’s climate change programs, however. Lawmakers are unlikely to reconsider their positions, reported the Arizona Republic.

Sources: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, WCI, Arizona Republic

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