Skip to comments.Governor Receives U.S. EPA Environmental Climate Change Champion Award
Posted on 12/04/2010 11:12:04 AM PST by NormsRevenge
So today we recognize this person for an extraordinary vision and leadership as an early, ardent and articulate champion in the defense of our planet against global climate change.
This person had a great team. I want to recognize Terry Tamminen and Linda Adams, who are both here, who really -- you can't do this stuff alone when you're sitting -- (Applause) And the job at the top is lonely and so when you surround yourselves by people you want to have people that free you up to take action and those are the type of people that allow you to think outside the box.
As we discussed this morning, the environment does not know political boundaries. It was created in a presidency of the Republican Party. And we need to encourage that bipartisan support but it's a huge political risk to do so. You end up being disliked by both sides by trying to forge the middle and yet that's what we need if we're going to solve environmental issues such as climate change into the future.
His legacy, ladies and gentlemen, includes groundbreaking achievements too numerous for us to fully acknowledge in this presentation and so instead I'm going to chronologically go through the action that led to us nominating him for this prestigious EPA Climate Change Champion Award:
* In 2005 the infamous California waiver was sought by him from our agency, US EPA, to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for California passenger vehicles and Fran Pavley was a big actor in that as well;
* We also had in 2005 at World Environment Day, which I happened to be privileged enough to attend, the Climate Change Executive Order;
* In 2006 created the Million Solar Roof Initiative providing 3,000 megawatts of clean, renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million tons;
* And then, the thing that we all know and famously is now called AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, was really the first in the world to reduce emissions and have a target of 80 percent reduction by 2050;
* We are incredibly lucky to live in a region that has forward-looking legislation on climate change but it took more that than. How do we get other people to do it? This person created the Western Climate Initiative, a consortium of western states who shared regional carbon emission goals and helped form the world's first International Carbon Action Partnership to develop solutions to climate change;
* He also established the precedential Low-Carbon Fuel Standard in California;
* He then escalated the California Renewable Portfolio Standard up to 33 percent;
* And signed legislation to control sprawl and promote smart growth in SB 375;
* In 2009 EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, after eight years of inaction on climate change, signed the waiver request that actually led to new, strict national standards for CO2 for the whole country but it would not have come if California had not acted first;
* In 2010, this year, we are the first in the nation to adopt a mandatory Green Building Standard Code;
* And then, as we looked back at this November, we had a huge threat. And I remember I had the opportunity of seeing the Governor with Thomas Friedman in Sacramento. At that time in the polls people didn't really know, is Prop 23 going to succeed and defeat this landmark AB 32, or not? And it took real political leadership to stand up to the Texas oil companies and to the people that wanted to defeat the huge momentum. He went out on the street and he got the votes to defeat Prop 23, 61 votes, for California.
So this person needs no introduction. Please help me welcome Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, our esteemed governor of the great state of California. (Applause)
Well, thank you very much for this wonderful award. I like getting awards. (Laughter) I've gotten a lot of awards -- you can imagine, when you're in bodybuilding and you win 13 World Championship titles and when you're in power lifting. When you do movies you get a lot of awards and medals and certificates and all kinds of things. But I have to say that this one is without any doubt the most recent. Anyway -- (Laughter) No, let me just say this is very meaningful to me, because I think taking care of the environment was really one of my main agendas when I became governor.
But before I talk about that I just want to say thank you very much to all of the people that work in the EPA all over the United States and especially in Washington, if it's Lisa Jackson and then out here in California, Jared Blumenfeld, a great, great leader -- we want to thank him for the great work that he has been doing. Then Linda Adams, who is the head of the EPA here in California; and Mary Nichols, who is in charge of the Air Resources Board; and Terry Tamminen, who has been kind of my guiding hand from the time I announced my candidacy in 2003 all the way to now. So let's give a big hand to all of them for the great work they have been doing. (Applause)
Now, I have to tell you that this is really special to me because, if you think about that seven years ago when I ran for governor I had a lot of the environmentalists protest me wherever I went because I was a Hummer driver. You see what I'm saying? I was a Hummer driver. So they didn't believe -- and the worst of all for them was that I had an "R" in front of me. I was a Republican, so they said, "What is he talking about, he's going to protect the environment? He's a Republican. He's not going to do anything. We don't believe him, we don't trust him."
Of course I reminded them that the history of the Republicans has been actually very good, if you think about Teddy Roosevelt, who was one of the great conservationists, if you think about the EPA was created by President Nixon 40 years ago in 1970, another Republican. Governor Ronald Reagan signed the landmark California Environmental Quality Act, also known as CEQA. And then the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the ozone layer, was put also in place by President Reagan. And then, of course, later on the cap and trade system that worked so well in dealing with the acid rain was adopted during the first Bush Administration. I mean, so those are the kind of things.
So I said, "You know, I want to follow those guys. That's the kind of Republican that I want to be." And then, of course, when I went into office we proved it very quickly. Luckily I won, so I could prove that we were serious about our plan.
And as soon as we came in we started working on the Hydrogen Highway, because Terry and I, we said, "Well, how much longer do we want to have the car manufacturers talk about we don't want to produce hydrogen fueled cars because there are no fueling stations around?"
So we started creating fueling stations up and down the state of California, public-private partnerships. We put millions of dollars aside and we got millions of dollars from the private sector. So that's when the environmentalists started looking and said, "Well, maybe this guy is serious."
But then we followed up with AB 32 to make a commitment to reduce our greenhouse gases by 25 percent by the year 2020. Then we followed up with the Million Solar Roof Initiative, to start really building more solar and have all of our homes covered with solar. And then the Green Building Standards, then the Tailpipe Emission Standards, the Renewable Energy Standards -- 33 percent of renewables here in California by the year 2020 and that's not even counting hydro. If you add hydro it's 45 percent, because hydro is usually counted all over the world as renewable energy, so that will be 45 percent.
So this is really terrific leadership and great, great work. And because of our laws California is now 40 percent more energy efficient than the rest of the nation. So think about that -- 40 percent more energy efficient. (Applause)
More than one-third of our world's clean-tech venture capital flows to California. We lead the nation in clean-energy patents and in clean-energy businesses. And in the last few months we broke ground on the world's largest wind and solar project, larger than the Chinese, because the Chinese have been bragging -- which has, I have to admit, annoyed me a little bit -- that they have the biggest solar plant. So now we broke ground on the biggest in the world and it's bigger, much bigger than theirs, so I'm very happy about that. (Applause)
As a matter of fact, this year was one of those great breakthrough years where we approved solar projects that will be 3,400 megawatts altogether. Now, think about 3,400 megawatts. This is a huge, huge progress that we have made.
And a few weeks ago, for instance -- here's another thing that shows you the growth and the improvement -- I went to the Los Angeles car show. Now, since I have come into office I always go to the Los Angeles car show and we hold a press conference and we show to the people and to the press alternative fuel vehicles, to put the spotlight on alternative fuel vehicles.
In 2003, when we had the first press conference, I had two cars stand behind me. But I was very happy that we had two; you have to start somewhere. But then, this year, seven years later, 50 cars -- 50 cars. Think about that, in seven years. What unbelievable progress. (Applause) So I think that there is really great, great stuff that is happening here in California and we are very happy about that.
Now, the important thing also is that we have made the utilities sign contracts with warehouse owners in California, up and down the state of California, because I always said that I want to fly over California with the helicopter one day and just see not rooftops but see just solar on top of rooftops, just to blanket it -- because we have so much warehouse, so many warehouses, so much warehouse rooftops in California, we should blanket them. And now they are doing that. As a matter of fact, they signed, Southern California Edison and PG&E and others are signing now deals with those warehouse owners to go and put those solar roofs on those warehouses and that will bring us extra energy.
And what is so good about that is, as you all know, it goes directly to the grid so you don't have to build huge transmission lines, which is always the biggest challenge of all. You can have all the renewable energy in the Mojave Desert but you still need to build transmission lines to bring it in. But if you have it on the rooftops of those warehouses it goes right to the grid and you don't even have to build the transmission lines.
So we are always thinking way ahead. And what is great also about California is that we are a big place. We are not just another state; we are the eighth largest economy in the world. Even though, when you look at the globe, we are this little, tiny spot but the power of influence that we have is an equivalent of a whole continent.
And we use that power. We went to the U.N., I did a speech at the U.N. to talk about and inspire other countries to go in the same direction as we do. We formed partnerships with the western states, with the northeastern states, with states in Mexico, with provinces in Canada and in China and so we are really -- and with countries in Europe. We really go and promote and inspire other people and really show great leadership. That's what this is all about.
And many of you know that we just spent millions of dollars here defending against Proposition 23 and you have talked a little bit about that. And this is one of the perfect examples. You can do all the great work that you want but don't ever go and think that you can just sit back and enjoy now the great success that you have had and the great progress that you have made. You always have to defend those laws, all the time.
Here we are -- out of nowhere came outside-of-the-state oil companies, Valero and Tesoro from Texas and they decided that they don't like our environmental laws here in California. They felt that they had flexed their muscles on the federal level and they scared everybody and all of a sudden no one in Washington now is talking about any of the environmental issues and energy issues that need to be addressed immediately. So they thought they were successful there and they were successful in Copenhagen last year by scaring everybody so everyone got frozen.
So they thought, there's one place left, which is California. They are making a lot of noise about the environment out there in California, they're passing one law after the other. We don't like that. Let's go out there and spend millions of dollars and crush them. This is the last one left, the last place standing. And they came out.
But we made it very clear in 2003 already that if the special interests push me around that I will push back. So they flexed their muscles and then all of a sudden we were in the middle of a pose-off, right? (Laughter) And we flexed our muscles too. And let me tell you something, it was so wonderful to see election day come and not only did we defeat them by 2 percent, which already is a great victory, or by 5 percent or by 8 percent but by 22 percent -- by 22 percent. (Applause)
So it was very clear that the voters said no -- they said no to the greedy oil companies, they said no to their lies and they said no to their pollution -- and they said yes to clean energy and yes to clean jobs and yes to a clean energy future.
And there's a lesson in this for Washington. We won so overwhelmingly because we appealed to all voters. We didn't just talk about the reduction in greenhouse gases. We talked about everything, because we know that it is very important to address the other issues too. It's not only about climate change; it's also about public health.
Everyone, regardless of party, wants to breathe clean air and everyone wants to drink clean water. So we talked about that, because that touched people. They all get scared of the dirty air, so we talked about that.
Everyone, regardless of their party, also is interested in the health problems that we have in this state. Between 15,000 and 19,000 people die every year -- 100,000 people die every year nationwide but 19,000 in California alone, because of smog-related illnesses and pollution-related illnesses. So that scared people. That woke up the people and they said, "We don't want that. We've got to vote no on Proposition 23." And, of course, we don't want to talk about the millions of hospital visits every year because of smog related illnesses.
Today in America also what we should talk about is national security. That's one thing that, for instance, George Shultz -- Secretary George Shultz, a Republican -- but he looked at Proposition 23 and he said, "That has to fail because we need to go and start creating alternative fuels because there's a national security crisis here." And he reminded all of the voters that in the '50s Eisenhower and in the '60s Kennedy, have already warned this country and said that if we rely more than 20 percent on foreign oil that we are in danger, that's a risk to our national security. Now we are using more than 60 percent. So that woke up people.
You see the different angles that we started attacking? So here is national security. I never even thought about that until he brought it up and we started promoting and talking about that when were on the campaign trail.
Then we talked about jobs and the economy. For everyone today this is our number one discussion in America, jobs and the economy, bringing back jobs. Well, in California we have seen we are creating 10 times more jobs in the green sector than in any other sector. So we had something to brag about and to remind people, if they vote yes on Proposition 23 that those jobs will go away. So all of a sudden people were worried about that.
So this is what is so important and why I mention that is because we've got to make sure that we address all of those issues when we go to Washington, all of those issues when we talk to the nation. It's not just about one issue, not just about global climate change. All of those issues are very important.
And I say for the economy it's very important that we start creating the green economy nationwide, not just in California but nationwide because, let me tell you something, other countries are creating it. In China, for instance, they are spending $9 billion a month to make sure that they are the leaders in a clean energy economy -- $9 billion.
So I say there are so many jobs out there in that area, someone is going to create those jobs, someone is going to create that economy. Well, I think it should be us, it should be America -- not China, not India, not Europe -- it should be America. And this is why we need to go and do everything that we can, that we go in this direction.
So the bottom line is that I just want to tell you that I was so happy that with our campaign. We proved that Democrats and Republicans can come together. We had Tom Steyer, who is a prominent Democrat in California here that put immediately $5 million into the campaign. But we had also George Shultz come in and be the co-chair. We all came together And thats what we have to do on the national level. We've got to bring Democrats and Republicans together.
And we've got to go and work on an environmental policy and on an energy policy, because there is no one in America right now that can tell you where we're going to get our energy from five years from now. Is it just from foreign oil? Is it from nuclear plants? Is it from renewables? Is it from biofuels? What are we doing? What is the plan that America has?
There is no plan and that's what concerns me, because here in California we created a plan seven years ago when I came into office. We now, just to show to you that our energy use in California has dropped -- the first year when I was in office it was 54,000 megawatts of energy we used in the summer when we had our hot summers; this year it was 47,000 megawatts of energy. So you can see the reduction.
That's what we need to do. We need to work on conservation and also on renewable energy. That's what this country needs to do. Forget talking about and getting all hung up on the greenhouse gas reductions. That's something that we shoot for, because the California people are much further advanced in all of those issues than the rest of the country. But let's talk about those other things. Imagine if America just goes and reduces the energy by 10, 15 percent and also has all of a sudden 15 percent more renewables. That would be a huge success. We don't need to talk about anything else. So those are the kind of things that we need to do.
So I just want to let you know I appreciate this award but for me what is important is that there is follow through. So it's not just the seven years I'm in office -- because I'm going to be finished after this month when Jerry Brown gets sworn in on January 3rd or whenever that is, I think and I will be not governor anymore.
But you should know that I will continue my fight for a clean environment, I will continue my fight for a good energy policy and I will be working with Washington and I will be working with the EPA here in California and also with the national EPA. And I want to tell you that I'm so proud of Lisa Jackson, of the great work that she is doing. What a great leader she is.
And so thank you very much for this award and "I'll be back." Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause)
We are incredibly lucky to live in a region that has forward-looking legislation on climate change but it took more that than. How do we get other people to do it? This person created the Western Climate Initiative, a consortium of western states who shared regional carbon emission goals and helped form the world’s first International Carbon Action Partnership to develop solutions to climate change;
He should have been recalled for this, not given an award.
Shows ya how crazy the world has become
Not once did I ever vote for Schwarzenegger, regardless of what letter he carries after his name.
So does this mean that Swartzzi is the greatest bullshitter or just is the best promoter of the greatest bullshit?
In other news, he announced the appointments of 2 Republicans and 4 democRats to Judgeships.
That’s Our Gubby!!! and that is the state of the Ca GoP in this state... infiltrated&compromised, out of touch, clueless
You have earned my respect (for what it's worth) for your conviction.
Parties don't do things, people do.
This is an example of why the Dodo and Gooney Bird died off.
Or the biggest crook.