Friday, September 26, 2008

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Tells Club Credit Crisis Can't Stop Climate Change Initiatives

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a Commonwealth Club audience this afternoon that budget battles and financial crises should not be used as excuses to back away from the leadership position the state has taken to reduce greenhouse gases.

Touching on some of the hot-button issues of the day, he also promised to uphold his pledge to resist oil drilling off the coast of California. Part of the solution, he said, would be better, more fuel-efficient cars from Detroit. Schwarzenegger said Detroit complains about his moves to get a federal exemption that would allow California (as in years past) to set its own fuel economy standards; he recommended that the rest of the country adopt California's higher standards and that Detroit stop complaining and begin innovating and rolling out alternative energy cars.

Speaking on the second anniversary of AB32, California's landmark Global Warming Solutions Act, the Republican governor told a packed audience of more than 500 people that the state has benefited greatly -- and will continue to do so -- from investment in green technologies. He praised the bipartisan state leaders who created the bill, and he said his administration will continue to focus on areas ranging from cleaning up its shipping ports to building the hydrogen highway.

In a wide-ranging audience question-and-answer period moderated by Club Vice President Greg Dalton, Schwarzenegger responded to the ongoing talks in Washington, D.C., aimed at crafting a large-scale government intervention into the markets to try to calm worldwide credit and investment markets. The governor offered his support for government intervention in cases where the markets have failed, but he urged that the government "not try to pick the winners" when it invests money or tries to direct economic development.

Keep visiting this Commonwealth Club blog for more reports from the governor's speech, press reaction, and photos and videos.


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