Advocacy at the California Air Resources Board (CARB)

Part 3 CA State Code

California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) requires close collaboration by the Air Resources Board, Public Utilities Commission, Energy Commission, and Independent System Operator to plan and implement the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in California back to 1990 levels by 2020. To help guide this process, CEERT developed a forecast of what success in this effort might look like in our “2020 Vision” analysis. We also sponsored a symposium of some of the world’s leading climate scientists on how to improve on the climate targets in the Kyoto protocols.

Recent Developments:

V. John White and Liz Anthony met with CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey to discuss discrepancies in the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) modeling of air pollution and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in the Resolve Model and the Avoided Cost Calculator, and the fact that the assumed level of emissions are inaccurate, compared to actual and future emission levels. We strongly suggested CARB take a more active role in vetting and verifying the CPUC’s modeling assumptions, as the CPUC has consistently underestimated the actual level of power-sector emissions and has made unsupported assumptions about the trajectory of future air quality and GHG reductions. We pointed out that the reference case for the Resolve Model in the CPUC’s Integrated Resource Plan showed that air pollution from the power sector would actually increase in 2030, even as GHG emissions and Renewable Portfolio Standard targets were being met.

Partly as a result of these meetings and the comments that Liz submitted directly to Energy Division staff, the CPUC has revised the modeling assumptions for both the Resolve Model and the Avoided Cost Calculator to better reflect actual emissions and a more realistic trajectory of future emission reductions.

 

Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs)

Methane Emissions

California has a target of a 40% reduction in methane from 2013 levels by 2030. Dairies dominate the state’s methane emissions (45%), followed by landfills (20%) and other livestock emissions (10%).

CEERT is participating in the Dairy/Livestock Working Group, which comprises three subgroups (SGs) focusing on fostering markets for non-digester projects, fostering markets for digester projects, and identifying research needs. The SGs are continuing to meet and review technical issues.

CalRecycle has completed a review of its implementation approach for the SLCP Reduction Strategy to reduce organic waste disposal to 50% below 2014 levels by 2020 and 75% below 2014 levels by 2025. It will begin its formal rulemaking process in the next couple of months, with final adoption of its regulatory package in 2019, which will give regulated entities time to prepare for the new, more stringent regime and plan for any needed budgetary, contractual, and other operational changes. CalRecycle expects all jurisdictions, haulers, and generators to be in compliance with the regulations starting January 1, 2022.