September 23, 2008

Plan Calls for Western Emissions Cuts

Seven Western U.S. states and four provinces in Canada have proposed a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions, officials said.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the Western Climate Initiative would cut regional greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent below 2005 levels in the next 12 years.

"We're sending a strong message to our federal governments that states and provinces are moving forward in the absence of federal action," said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The plan calls for a program to cap emissions that contribute to global climate change. It also calls for industries to get fixed numbers of permits to pollute, and allow them to trade the permits among themselves, the report said.

California passed its own global warming law in 2006. Proponents say a regional approach to reducing emissions is designed to prevent industries from relocating to states that have less strict greenhouse regulations.

The seven states a part of the program are Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Utah. The four Canadian provinces are British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario.