- Section One states the title of the law, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
- Section Two is a set of "findings." The essence of these findings is that human-caused global warming is a "serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of California."
- Section Three is a list of definitions, including the definition of "a market-based compliance mechanism." The state's "Cap and Trade" program fits the definition.
- Section Four outlines the responsibilities of the State Air Resources Board (ARB) with respect to global warming. Most importantly, the ARB has been directed to determine the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in California in 1990, and then to establish a program to make sure that greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 will not exceed the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in 1990. Greenhouse gas emissions, in other words, must be "rolled back," so that even as economic and other growth proceeds, California will not emit more greenhouse gases in 2020 than the state emitted in 1990. Section 38562 of the Health and Safety Code provides both the authority and some specific directions on what kind of regulations can and should be employed to achieve the required roll back in greenhouse gas emissions.
The state board may adopt a regulation that establishes a system of market-based declining annual aggregate emission limits for sources or categories of sources that emit greenhouse gas emissions, applicable from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2020, inclusive, that the state board determines will achieve the maximum 89 Ch. 488 — 8 — technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, in the aggregate, from those sources or categories of sources (emphasis added).
If there is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they need to be reduced, to the greatest extent they can, and as fast as they can, and our regulations should require nothing less.