BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1771
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  June 26, 2000

                      ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES 
                                 Howard Wayne, Chair
                      SB 1771 (Sher) - As Amended:  May 30, 2000

           SENATE VOTE  :  27-11
           
          SUBJECT  :  Greenhouse gas emission reductions:  climate change.

           SUMMARY  :  This bill requires the Resources Agency and the  
          California Environmental Protection Agency to jointly establish  
          and administer a registry through which California entities may  
          record and register voluntary greenhouse gas emission reductions  
          after 1990.  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Establishes the California Environmental Protection Agency  
            (CalEPA) and vests it with broad responsibility for protection  
            of air, water, land, and public health.

          1)Establishes various emission limitations for the control of  
            vehicular and non-vehicular air pollution and establishes the  
            State Air Resources Board (ARB) as the lead air pollution  
            control agency in state government for all purposes  
            established in federal law.

          1)Under the Warren-Alquist Energy Conservation and Resources  
            Development Act, establishes the California Energy Commission  
            (CEC) within the Resources Agency and vests it with broad  
            responsibilities for energy efficiency, reliability and  
            independence.

          1)Requires the CEC to have conducted a study on or before June  
            1, 1990 regarding the manner in which global warming trends  
            may affect California's energy supply and demand, economy,  
            environment, agriculture, and water supplies.

           THIS BILL  :

          1)Makes findings and declarations relative to the importance of  
            California's efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and of  
            establishing a voluntary registry for greenhouse gas emission  
            reductions.








                                                                  SB 1771
                                                                  Page  2


          1)Requires the Resources Agency and CalEPA jointly to establish  
            and administer a registry through which California entities  
            may record and register voluntary greenhouse gas emission  
            reductions made after 1990.

          1)Requires the agencies to jointly develop and undertake a  
            series of tasks in order to facilitate operation and use of  
            the registry.

          1)Requires the CEC, in consultation with the ARB, the State  
            Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the State  
            Department of Transportation, the State Water Resources  
            Control Board, the California Integrated Waste Management  
            Board, and other state agencies with jurisdiction over matters  
            affecting climate change, to do all of the following:

             a)   On or before January 1, 2002, update the inventory of  
               greenhouse gas emissions from all sources located in the  
               state, as identified in the CEC's 1998 report entitled,  
               "Appendix A: Historical and Forecasted Greenhouse Gas  
               Emissions Inventories in California."

             b)   Acquire and develop data and information on global  
               climate change and provide state, regional, and local  
               agencies, utilities, business, industry, and other energy  
               and economic sectors with information on the costs,  
               technical feasibility, and demonstrated effectiveness of  
               methods for reducing or mitigating the production of  
               greenhouse gases from in-state sources, including net  
               reductions, through the management of natural forest  
               reservoirs.

             c)   Update its inventory every five years using current  
               scientific methods, and report on the updated inventory to  
               the Governor and Legislature.

             d)   Conduct at least one public workshop prior to finalizing  
               each updated inventory.

             e)   Convene an interagency task force consisting of state  
               agencies with jurisdiction over matters affecting climate  
               change to ensure policy coordination at the state level for  
               those activities.









                                                                  SB 1771
                                                                  Page  3

             f)   Establish a climate change advisory committee to the  
               extent that the commission determines that it can do so  
               within existing resources. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, there will be $425,000 in ongoing costs for CEC staff  
          to prepare and maintain the registry, with $500,000 in ongoing  
          costs for development of contracts, both from the Energy  
          Resources Programs Account.  The cost to update the inventory  
          would be minor and absorbable because the inventor is similar to  
          ongoing CEC work on greenhouse gas emissions.

           COMMENTS  :

            1)   Purpose of the Bill  

          According to the author's office, this bill was introduced in  
          response to suggestions made at an interim hearing last fall in  
          Los Angeles by the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on the  
          subject of climate change.  A key recommendation by many of the  
          business witnesses at the hearing was to find non-regulatory  
          methods by which businesses could be encouraged to voluntarily  
          reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  This bill is intended to  
          address those recommendations.

            2)   Background on Climate Change  

          The terms "global warming" and "global climate change" refer to  
          the rise in the average temperature of the earth's surface due  
          to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  While  
          considerable political debate continues regarding the existence,  
          causes, and effects of global warming, a majority of the world's  
          climate scientists, as well as a special "blue ribbon"  
          scientific panel of international experts convened by the United  
          Nations, agree that global warming is occurring and that  
          measures should be taken to address its effects.

          According to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in the  
          past century global temperatures have risen approximately one  
          degree Fahrenheit, with the 1990s the warmest decade on record  
          to date.  The most recent assessment of the Intergovernmental  
          Panel on Climate Change, a body of over 2,000 scientists, found  
          that "the balance of evidence suggests a discernable human  
          influence on global climate."  Scientists predict that, unless  
          greenhouse gas emissions are reduced substantially, Earth's  








                                                                  SB 1771
                                                                  Page  4

          average global temperature will rise by two to six degrees  
          Fahrenheit by the end of the next century.

          The potential adverse consequences of global warming are  
          globally significant.  Examples include more intense rainfall in  
          some areas, with extended droughts in others, greater  
          evaporation of surface waters, and rising sea levels making  
          vulnerable valuable wetland ecosystems that rely on a specific  
          fresh water-salt water balance.  Agricultural impacts vary,  
          including predictions ranging from large decreases to large  
          increases in production, depending on assumptions of temperature  
          increase, potential benefits of increased carbon dioxide, and  
          adaptation measures.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support  

          Clean Power Campaign
          Planning and Conservation League
          Sierra Club California
           
          Opposition  

          None on file


           Analysis Prepared by  :  Scott H. Valor / NAT. RES. / (916)  
          319-2092