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Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board

ELR Citation: 42 ELR 20127
Nos. A132165, (Cal. App. 1st Dist., 06/19/2012)

A California appellate court held that the California Air Resources Board's (CARB's) climate change scoping plan, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, complies with the state's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Global Solutions Warming Act requires CARB to prepare a scoping plan for achieving the "maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions" in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. A citizens group argued, among other things, that CARB recommended implementing a cap-and-trade program to limit industrial greenhouse gas emission without considering the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of alternative direct control measures. But the record does not support this contention. Determining the best means of identifying and implementing the most cost-effective and feasible measures to maximize greenhouse gas emissions reductions involves numerous highly technical and novel scientific and economic issues. CARB approached this challenge by soliciting and obtaining knowledgeable input from industry, academia, environmental organizations, and members of the general public, and the court was satisfied that CARB's choices were thoughtfully considered, well within the scope of the legislature's directive, and not arbitrary or capricious.