Five Western governors [California, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico and Washington] agreed yesterday on a plan to cut their states' emissions of gases linked to global warming and to establish a regional carbon-trading system, though they stopped short of saying how drastically they will seek to reduce greenhouse gases ...
"In the absence of meaningful federal action, it is up to the states to take action to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country," said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. "Western states are being particularly hard hit by the effects of climate change."
And here's the White House reaction to that (from yesterday's Press Briefing). I particularly like the President's belief that the economy comes first:
Q On global warming. Five western states yesterday announced a regional carbon trading system they plan to support, and you have a growing number of energy trade associations and the energy industry itself calling for mandatory limits, in the absence of federal legislation. Does the White House support the states and private sector doing this on their own?
MR. SNOW: We have no -- they're free to do what they want. It's a little unclear what the five states are doing, but the President has made it clear that he believes in cleaning the environment. He thinks that global warming exists. He thinks that we need to mitigate it. He has put together a 20-in-10 proposal that has -- that will lead to very significant reductions in vehicular C02 emissions. He also believes that you can have your clean air without having to put a crimp on the economy. And as a matter of fact, a cleaner environment can be and should be consistent with robust economic growth. And that's the way we've been approaching it. If people think that they have innovative new ways to do it, it's going to create some opportunities out there for folks to perform services that a lot of people want to see.
We're at a point in our economy, Paula, and we've been here for quite a while, where cleaner water and cleaner air are, in fact, things that people desire. And there are any number of industries right now that are profiting handsomely from that desire. And what you want to do to the best extent possible is to unleash people's creative abilities, so that they can train their energies on a problem like that, and try to deal with it.