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Mayors Turn Up Heat to Combat Global Warming

By Olin Ericksen
Staff Writer

August 24 -- Hoping to turn up the heat on the governor to sign a statewide bill to reduce global warming, mayors from across California -- including Santa Monica -- traveled to Sacramento Wednesday.

Just days before lawmakers cast a vote on the bill, Mayor Bob Holbrook and other city officials joined mayors from 12 cities -- representing 10 million people -- to endorse The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which targets large polluters, such as oil refineries and power plants.

"The City of Santa Monica strongly supports the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006," said Mayor Holbrook at a press conference at the State Capitol. "Over the past several years, Santa Monica has implemented a number of programs and policies to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions and each of these actions has strengthened our local economy.

"Santa Monica welcomes the opportunity to help show the rest of California that the solutions to Global Warming are also the actions that will improve the quality of life in our communities as well as strengthen our future economic competitiveness," Holbrook said.

The bill -- which would cut global warming pollution by 25 percent by 2020 from the state's biggest polluters -- was backed by the local City Council in a June 13 resolution, making Santa Monica one of 45 cities and five local government bodies that regulate air, water and land that have supported the bill.

Authored by House Speaker Fabian Núñez and 41st Assembly member Fran Pavley, whose district includes Santa Monica, The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 will encourage conservation and help the state become more green, boosters contend.

"As Mayors, we have been doing everything we can to save our cities' precious resources by using energy more efficiently, investing in clean transportation options and improving the quality of our homes and office buildings," said Mayor Heather Fargo of Sacramento. "But there are practical limits to what cities can accomplish on our own."

At least $60 million have been saved thanks to state conservation initiatives since 1975 and air pollution has been dramatically reduced across the state, a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation study found.

If the bill passes in coming days, it will go to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk for his signature.

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