California Court Issues Tentative Ruling Enjoining AB 32 Implementation


On January 21, a San Francisco Superior Court issued a proposed decision that could significantly delay the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 ("AB 32"). In Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, Case No. CPF-09-509562, the Court held that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Court found the CARB to have neglected to conduct a sufficient environmental impact review prior to adopting the State's AB 32 Scoping Plan (Plan). Specifically, CARB failed to adequately analyze all potential alternatives and prematurely adopted the Plan prior to fully responding to public comment.

ARB's Plan is the foundational road map charting ARB's main strategies to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change. It includes GHG reduction actions such as direct regulations, alternative compliance mechanisms, monetary and non-monetary incentives, voluntary actions, a market-based mechanism cap-and-trade system, and an AB 32 program implementation regulation to fund the program.

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