Friday, February 02, 2007


Yes, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the name game of Team Blagojevich-Schwarzenegger that met in California yesterday. But they made environmental announcements that show promise, according to the Environment Illinois advocacy group.

Rebecca Stanfield, Environment Illinois state director, says it’s significant that Illinois partnered with the “Golden State” because California has already enacted some of the policies recommended in the Illinois group’s report to reduce global warming emissions.

For instance, she says California was the first state to set carbon dioxide emission standards for cars made in 2009 and beyond. That law was approved in 2002 under the former governor. Last summer, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also approved a cap on greenhouse gas emissions (coupled with reporting requirements) so statewide levels would return to 1990 levels by 2020.

Stanfield says there’s no doubt the auto industry would fight tooth an nail against a CO2 standard for cars (they’ve already taken their case to Supreme Court), but she hopes that consumer demand for clean cars could heighten the chances that CO2 standards could be adopted in Illinois.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich released another statement today touting his anti-pollution programs, including the creation of the Illinois Climate Change Advisory Group that has to make recommendations to the governor by July 30 this year. Last summer, Blagojevich also unveiled an energy plan to invest in renewable fuels (corn and soybeans) and wind power. And he caps his accomplishments with this week’s announcement of BP PLC funding of the Energy Biosciences Institute that promises up to $100 million for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s research on converting plants to fuel.

This all comes on the heels of an international panel’s declaration that human behavior, particularly burning of fossil fuels, “very likely” causes global warming. Fossil fuels emit CO2, the most important greenhouse gas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change created by the United Nations.

BP invests in UI, biofuel development - News

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