Once again, I’m proud to be a Californian. As part of a landmark deal reached recently by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative Democrats, California will become the first state to impose a cap on all greenhouse gas emissions, including those from industrial plants. The agreement marks a clear break with the Bush administration and puts California on a path to reducing its emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by an estimated 25 percent by 2020. It will utilize a market program that will allow businesses to buy, sell and trade emission credits with other companies.
Meanwhile, last week during a major address in San Francisco, California’s Senator Diane Feinstein, called global warming “the greatest environmental challenge facing this planet.” She proposed a package of legislation that would require automakers to boost fuel economy, increase use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and force companies to lower emissions of the greenhouse gases. SERC worked with the Senator’s staff to help shape the legislation by providing a comprehensive white paper on climate change last December. We’re proud to have been part of this effort and we’ll do all we can to help the Senator push forward with her important work.
Closer to home, this issue of our newsletter highlights another successful University- National Parks Energy Partnership Program, our sixth so far. This program pairs engineering student interns with Redwood National and State Parks to work on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This year’s interns, Erin McDonald and Matthew Smith, resurrected and installed a photovoltaic energy system at a ranger residence in the park. A wonderful sight at the lab this summer was seeing Erin and Matthew with their welding aprons on having a great old time welding up their PV support structure.
You can also read updates on our work with the Yurok Tribe to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy on their reservation, our Hydrogen Technology and Energy Curriculum (HyTEC) work with Lawrence Hall of Science, our work training operators and first responders for a hydrogen vehicle program at SUNY Buffalo, and our Fall line-up for our Energy, the Environment, and Society speaker series. I hope you enjoy learning about our progress.