By Sacramento Business Journal

Postponing Californiaâ¿¿s climate change law ultimately will make it more expensive for the state to clean up its air pollution, according to an open letter released Monday signed by more than 100 economists and energy and climate experts.

The letter, warning against any delay in the implementation of the stateâ¿¿s clean-energy policies, was organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Proposition 23 would suspend Californiaâ¿¿s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Assembly Bill 32, until the state has four consecutive quarters of 5.5 percent or less unemployment. AB 32 requires greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020.

Among the 118 economists who signed the letter in support of AB 32 is Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow, a former professor at Stanford University. The letter states that California⿿s policies can ⿿stimulate innovation and efficiency⿝ and ⿿help the state become a technological leader in the global marketplace.⿝

⿿The Air Resources Board is pursuing a balanced and prudent approach that emphasizes increasing our energy efficiency and reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels that jeopardize our energy security,⿝ Michael Hanemann, professor of agricultural and resource economics and co-director of the University of California Berkeley⿿s Climate and Energy Policy Institute, said, in a news release. ⿿Any delay in implementing the law would benefit some special interests while imposing a greater burden on local governments.⿝

Earlier this month, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. also said it will join other business, civic, labor and environmental groups in California in opposing Proposition 23.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals
Copyright 2010