Tag Archives: schwarzenegger

How Can You Buy And Sell The Sky?

“We need to step out of our collective psychosis,” said Deepak Chopra, author and speaker at today’s Governor’s Global Climate Summit 3 taking place at the Mondavi Center, UC Davis in Northern California. “We are worried about the planet, but we should be worried about ourselves.”

He told the 1500 assembled delegates and attendees of the this sub-national and grassroots focused conference that a biologist had recently explained to him that were all the insects to disappear, the planet would collapse within five years; Were the human race to disappear from the planet, the Earth would flourish. He then introduced a film, Harmony, that is to air tonight on NBC, inspired and narrated by Charles, the Prince of Wales.  He left the podium quoting Chief Seattle’s letter to the president which includes the famous, rhetorical question, “how can you buy and sell the sky?” and reiterated the ancient teachings that the human body and the world are one, trees are but lungs.

But while the first morning of the Summit concluded on a spiritual note, it was mainly spent in discussing the need for a “Green Industrial Policy” and to define the specific direction to take the Green Energy Policy in.

Co-host Governor Schwarzenegger addressed the assembly and made it clear that the “green revolution is moving full speed ahead.” He stressed the bipartisan victory California enjoyed recently when it collectively and overwhelmingly said “No” to Proposition 23 which sought to gut the state’s landmark global solutions act, AB 32.

George Shultz, a veteran of Ronald Reagan’s cabinet shared his memories of his first cabinet position under Eisenhower. Back then, he said, Eisenhower had advised him that if the nation imported more than 20% of its oil we were “asking for trouble.” Sure enough, he recalled, two years later we had the first Arab oil embargo.

Gov. Schwarzenegger at the GGCS3 at UC Davis, Mondavi Center.

“How many times do you have to get hit on the head with a 2×4 before you decide to take action?” asked George Shultz.

Harrison Ford took the stage after the Governor, easily following in the footsteps of Climate Action Hero.  He has been a long supporter of and spokesperson for Conservation International whose main message at the summit is the carbon cost of deforestation. “Sixteen percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions is created from deforestation. That’s more than all the buses, cars, trucks on the planet combined,” said Ford.

The other speakers, including Linda Adams, California Secretary of Environmental Protection, could hardly keep the “cat in the bag” until tomorrow’s official announcement about R20, an organization incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland, which is to be a “green investment program,” said Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. It is intended to match investors from the World Bank and private corporations with local governments in developing and industrialized countries to accelerate alternative-energy projects. Adams added that today was a day to celebrate…to celebrate the victory for Mother Earth. “Protecting the environment protects our way of life…clean air, clean water, livable neighborhoods, walkable streets…”.

As Ford explained it, “it will lay the tracks for the world’s first compliance market for global deforestation activity.” In other words, the developing nations will have as much economic incentive to protect the environment as they do now to strip their forests and sell the raw resources.

Focus is also towards COP 16 taking place in the next few weeks in Cancun, Mexico. The Summit provides an opportunity for states and provinces to partner with and influence the position of their national governments leading up to the United Nations COP 16 conference. The GGCS3 is in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Environment Programme and co-sponsored by UC Davis.

“The politics of climate change have challenged the science, so it is critical that universities like UC Davis – with 21st century research and development units – uncover and deliver the facts so that the world’s opinions can flow from there,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

Schwarzenegger added that last year’s Global Climate Summit was held in Los Angeles, the “entertainment capital of the world,” and this year the summit is being held at UC Davis, the “environmental research capital of the world.”

Shultz had praise for British Columbia’s Gordon Campbell and his model of a revenue neutral carbon tax, saying “It’s a good idea to create a level playing field for all sources of energy.”

Campbell emphasized that 90% B.C.’s energy is clean energy sourced meaning carbon neutral or no carbon. He continued by saying he was of the same mind as Gov. Schwarzenegger in reaching across borders on issues of climate action and energy. “We’re happy to share our clean energy with our friends, across the border.”  Campbell rounded up his panel address by saying that the way we move forward is in public-private partnerships. He concluded with a quote from Churchill, “Never, never, never give up. It’s too important.”

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Greening California, SB X8 34, And Our Renewable Energy Revolution

SB X8 34 is not the latest robotics model. It is a new bill from California.

SB X8 34 authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, will help further streamline and speed up the permitting and siting process for large-scale renewable energy projects. These are the projects that will provide Californians with jobs and greater energy independence and attract investment to the Golden State.

Today, at the world’s largest operating solar plant, the NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System (SEGS) facility in Hinkley, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to announce a new joint program to make it easier to conserve land for endangered species and for developers to build renewable energy projects in California.

Mojave Desert Photo Courtesy Data.gov

“I cannot think of a more appropriate place to underscore that renewable energy is not ‘pie in the sky’ than here at the edge of the Mojave Desert where the largest solar plant in the world is generating clean, cost-efficient renewable energy for California communities,” Secretary Salazar said during a tour of the facility.

There are more than 240 proposed renewable energy projects in California that could produce nearly 70,000 MW of clean energy annually.

These proposed projects throughout the state include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and small hydro facilities.

In addition to touring the NextEra Harper Lake facility today in Hinkley, the Governor and Secretary Salazar toured a 250 megawatt (MW) proposed solar facility, the Abengoa Mojave Solar project. The proposed Abengoa site is seeking funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and will create over $1 billion of capital investment and more than 1,200 jobs in the local region. The Governor’s action today will help the Abengoa project and other renewable energy projects seeking Recovery Act funding.

“Our bold and innovative vision for California has made us a pioneer in renewable energy, green jobs and environmental protection and, as a result, we are seeing an energy revolution in California,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “California now has more than 240 proposed renewable projects looking to build and create jobs. Today’s action will help speed up the process for some of these large projects to break ground this year and qualify for federal stimulus funding. By working together, we can increase renewable energy development, create thousands of jobs and preserve our state’s cherished natural resources”

To better coordinate the state’s efforts to increase renewable energy and create jobs, the Governor’s Administration will hold The Governor’s Renewable Energy Policy Conference at the University of California, Riverside on Wednesday, March 24.

Solar Farming

SBX8 34 will ensure state regulatory agencies have the resources necessary to focus on the state’s stringent environmental review process and permit renewable energy facilities. The bill creates further efficiencies by:

  • Establishing the Renewable Energy Development Fee Trust, a revolving fund that renewable energy developers can pay into through project-assessed fees determined by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The fees will be used for the state and its federal partners to implement project mitigation measures including purchasing private lands related to habitat restoration, and monitoring and transaction costs connected to offset impacts to biological resources from construction.
  • Ensuring the needed environmental reviews occur in a timely manner by authorizing the CEC and DFG to assess application fees on projects at an amount that would fully fund dedicated staff to work exclusively on applications.
  • Speeding up CEC review by allowing for the free flow of information in a more timely manner by removing communication barriers between outside state agencies and CEC commissioners.

The Governor urged the legislature to continue working to help streamline the permitting and construction of renewable energy projects throughout the state in a signing message attached to SBX8 34.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan was also formed to create a science-based, stakeholder driven process to identify geographic areas designated for renewable energy development, and conservation and declining species management. This plan is currently scheduled to be completed in 2012 and is meant to provide a long-term road map to development and conservation in the California desert.

The following excerpt by: David Danelski, The Press-Enterprise

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his aides gathered at the graffiti-scarred ruins of an old feed and farm supply store as they waited for U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar to arrive for a tour of the future solar energy site.

The crumbling building and more than 1,700 acres around it, mostly former alfalfa fields, have been acquired by Abengoa Solar, which is seeking approval to build a 250 megawatt thermal generation plant about nine miles northwest of the San Bernardino County town of Hinkley.

“It will go as far the eye can see along those transmission lines,” Scott Frier, Abengoa’s chief operating officer, said to Schwarzenegger and Salazar as he showed them a map of project site.

The governor and Salazar also visited the control center for the nearby 160 megawatt solar plant, NextEra Harper Lake Solar Electric Generating System, the largest operating solar plant in the world.

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