Chairman Markey and esteemed members, thank you for the opportunity to
appear before you today to provide you with information on what the State of Arizona
and other western states are doing to address global warming.
Scientific evidence makes clear that global warming is real and that human
activities are contributing significantly to the build-up of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere that is warming our planet.
Arizona and other western states are suffering from prolonged drought, decreased
snowfall, increased and earlier snowmelt, and more severe and devastating forest and
rangeland fires as a result of recent climate changes. The scientific evidence is that the
West - and especially the Southwest - will be particularly hard-hit in the future by the
effects of climate change.
The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences warned earlier
this year that warmer future temperatures due to climate change will reduce future Colorado
River stream flow and water supplies in the Colorado River Basin. Indeed, as I speak,
Arizona and the six other basin states are engaged in negotiations on ensuring we manage
the Colorado River so that no one state is harmed should we reach a point where we have
to declare a shortage.
The impacts are real and aggressive action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions because the effects of climate change are already being felt, especially in
Arizona and throughout the West.
In the absence of meaningful federal action, it has been up to the states to show
leadership on this critical issue. And that is exactly what we have done.
In February 2005, I signed my first Executive Order on climate change, which
established the Arizona Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG) to develop practical
approaches for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Arizona. The CCAG was
comprised of a wide range of stakeholders with an interest in global warming including
representatives from utilities, the petroleum industry, business, tribes, conservation
organizations and healthcare officials.
The CCAG developed a comprehensive set of 49 policy recommendations that
could cumulatively eliminate the emission of hundreds of millions of tons of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases from Arizona by 2020 if fully implemented.
As one of the fastest growing states in the country, Arizona faces great risk from
inaction. Between 1990 and 2005 Arizonans' net GHG emissions increased by nearly
56%. Forecasts predict that these emissions will increase by 148% from 1990 levels by
2020, while national emissions will rise by about 42% over this same period.
Because more than three-quarters of Arizona's greenhouse gas emissions are
directly related to energy and transportation, the opportunity exists for our state to reduce
our emissions while continuing our strong economic growth. We can accomplish that
goal by developing clean and renewable energy sources; increasing the use of cleaner
transportation modes, technologies and fuels; increasing energy efficiency; and building
new infrastructure "right" in the first place to produce fewer emissions. These are all
common sense steps that must be taken to secure our state's energy future and develop a
21st Century economy for our state.
In fact, the technical analysts that supported the CCAG estimated a net benefit of
more than $5.5 billion to our state between now and 2020 by implementing the group's
recommendations, due to the creation of new jobs, lower energy and fuel costs, and
investments in better and more efficient infrastructure for our state.
In 2006, I issued a second Executive Order on Climate Change and adopted the
CCAG recommendations. We are now working to develop strategies for implementation.
We have already made some progress:
-I accepted the CCAG's recommendation to set a statewide goal to reduce
Arizona's greenhouse gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2020, and to 50 percent
below 2000 levels by 2040. And because it is so important to reduce our
emissions as quickly as possible, I further directed that we seek to achieve as
much of the goal as possible by 2012, Arizona's centennial year.
-I directed state agencies to take action to reduce Arizona's greenhouse gas
emissions. Since the beginning of the year, most vehicles purchased for the state
fleet are low-greenhouse-gas-emitting vehicles. The fleet is transitioning, with
few exceptions, to only low-emission vehicles, such as hybrids, E-85 flex fuel
vehicles, alternative-fuel vehicles, and high-mileage automobiles. I also ordered
that by January 2010, the state will no longer own any vehicle that is not a hybrid,
alt-fuel, or low-greenhouse-gas-emitting vehicle.
-We are moving forward with adoption of the State Clean Car Program to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions from new light duty vehicles starting model year 2011
so we are poised to implement once EPA grants the necessary waiver.
Other changes to enact the CCAG recommendations will require legislative
action, and I directed my staff to develop a comprehensive proposal to remove statutory
barriers to clean and renewable energy production in the state. The proposal will
recommend diversification of transportation fuels and standards for energy efficiency.
In addition, the State has reduced water consumption by 17% compared to 2004
water use rates and increased energy efficiency by 4.6% since 2002. All new state
buildings must comply with efficiency standards. Later this year I will cut the ribbon to
celebrate the State's first gold standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) building, built with low-impact materials and using less energy and water.
In other words, we are taking action in Arizona, but state-level action alone will
not address the problems.
As reported in the journal Science, within the next few decades the Western
United States may see a perpetual drought similar to what struck the Great Plains in the
1930s. The fear is that our current drought - now in its 12th year - could become the
That is why, in addition to taking action here in Arizona, I have been working
with other Western states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our region. In
February 2006, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and I created the Southwest
Climate Change Initiative. And in February of this year, I joined with the Governors of
Washington, Oregon, California, and New Mexico to establish the Western Climate
Momentum for this regional effort continues to grow, in the West and beyond our
borders. Since February, Utah and two Canadian Provinces - British Columbia and
Manitoba - have joined the WCI as full partners. Five other states, as well as the
Mexican state of Sonora and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec and
Saskatchewan have joined as observers.
The purpose of the WCI is twofold. At the end of this summer, we established a
collective goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the WCI region to 15 percent
below 2005 levels by 2020. And during this next year, we will develop a market-based
mechanism to reach that goal. In other words, we are creating a Western regional cap
and trade program for greenhouse gases.
We have also committed to do our share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
enough over the long term to significantly lower the risk of dangerous threats to the
climate. Current science suggests that this will require worldwide reductions from 50%
to 80% in carbon dioxide emissions from current levels by 2050. Even though the federal
government has not acted to curb greenhouse gas emissions, we are.
In addition to creating a Western regional cap and trade program, the WCI
partners committed to promote the development of clean and renewable energy and
increase energy efficiency region wide. A critical element includes the implementation
of California's greenhouse gas tailpipe standards in our states. California, Oregon, and
Washington have adopted the standards, and Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah have
committed to do so.
In September, we governors of the WCI states, joined by the governors of
Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode
Island, sent a letter to the Big Six automakers urging them to withdraw their legal
challenges to the clean vehicle standards and begin working with us to reverse the threat
of global climate change. In other words, we want them to stop litigating and start
Earlier this year in June, the WCI states sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi and other
congressional leaders setting forth our view on climate legislation as the Congress begins
to deliberate and draft it.
There is tremendous opportunity for Congress to help the nation achieve energy
independence and reduce these harmful emissions.
As a critical starting point, we urged Congress to demand that the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency stop dragging its feet and approve California's long-
standing request for a Clean Air Act waiver to move forward with its clean tailpipe
standards. There is simply no justification for EPA to continue to withhold the waiver.
We also laid out four basic principles for legislation:
-First, we need strong national goals. As we have said in the WCI, action must be
taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80% by 2050.
-Second, we need a comprehensive, market-based approach to climate policy. Key
action areas that need policy support include: energy efficiency and conservation,
clean and renewable energy, transportation and land use efficiency, agriculture,
and forest conservation and carbon sequestration. These approaches also must be
integrated with a market for emissions trading - i.e., a national cap and trade
-Third, we must act quickly. Greenhouse gases persist for very long periods.
Today's emissions will endure for generations. Congress must act quickly to
avoid decisions that result in irreversible levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
-Fourth, Congress must support state programs and leadership. Congress must
reach out to states and not preempt our leadership. Federal legislation should
build upon the efforts of the states and provide flexibility for states to take more
aggressive action on global warming.
More specifically, I understand that Congress may be considering legislation to
create a federal emissions registry. Please let me point out to that the states already have
done that. Earlier this year, Arizona and 37 other states formed The Climate Registry - a
national climate registry for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and giving credit to
business and entities that take action to cut their emissions. I am proud to say that
Arizona was the first state to join The Climate Registry. The Climate Registry will be
officially open for business in January. Congress should not undermine this important
Congress has a historic opportunity to adopt comprehensive energy legislation
that would reduce oil use, slash global warming pollution, create jobs, and save families
money. Both the Senate and House versions include provisions that would further these
goals. I urge Congress to adopt a final energy bill before the end of the year that includes
the following measures:
-Provides long-term incentives for renewable energy generation. The Western
Governors have consistently advocated for long-term reauthorization of
renewable production tax credits, which would allow developers to utilize the
credits in long-term financial planning.
-Diversifies our energy base by creating incentives for a variety of homegrown
fuels rather than focusing us on a single source. These incentives could lead to
production of crops that are not only serving the areas in which they are grown
but also fueling American vehicles with significantly reduced harmful emissions.
Additional programs targeted at increasing the number of alternative fuel pumps
around the nation must also be addressed.
-Recognizes the importance of reducing overall energy demand by setting new
efficiency standards for modern buildings, appliances, and lighting. These are
fairly easy but important steps Congress can take that will save consumers money
on energy bills and reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy estimates that the final
energy bill that includes the best efficiency and renewable energy provisions from the
Senate and House bills would reduce greenhouse gas pollution by nearly 20% by 2030
compared to the status quo. These reductions would be an important down payment on
the 50% to 80% greenhouse gas reduction required to avoid the worst impacts of global
warming. And with oil prices rising, the prompt adoption of these policies would reduce
oil demand and prices.
Governors stand ready to provide any assistance needed to help Congress
complete this critical legislation before the end of the year.
Arizonans and Americans are "can do" people. Once we establish a goal and
timeline, we will put our brain and muscle power to work to accomplish it. We need
Congress's help to increase energy independence and slow global warming by the
establishment of firm standards and realistic deadlines. These are critical elements in
solving these problems.
While we face great challenges in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions - and in
dealing with the impacts of climate change that already are occurring -- I am optimistic
that we can reverse the course our country, and our planet, is on.
I urge Congress to act, and I look forward to working with you.