On Monday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a Supplement to the environmental analysis (known as the Functional Equivalent Document) of the 2008 AB 32 Scoping Plan. The Supplement provides CARB’s revised analysis of the alternatives to the greenhouse gas reduction measures proposed in the Scoping Plan, including alternatives to the cap-and-trade program.
The Supplement comes in direct response to a San Francisco Superior Court judge’s ruling against CARB. As we have previously blogged (here, here, here, and here), in Association of Irritated Residents v. California Air Resources Board (a case brought by environmental groups against CARB), the court ruled that CARB violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in its original environmental analysis of the alternatives to the greenhouse gas reduction measures proposed in the Scoping Plan. In its press-release and the Supplement itself, CARB is quick to point out that it “disagrees with the trial court finding and has appealed the decision.” However, CARB decided to revisit the alternatives “to remove any doubt in the matter.”
The Supplement provides an expanded analysis of the five alternatives included in the original environmental analysis. Based on this new analysis, CARB will reconsider its approval of the 2008 Scoping Plan. The revised analysis uses emission projections updated in light of current economic forecasts (i.e. accounting for the economic downturn since 2008) and excludes a measure already adopted. CARB is accepting public comments on the Supplement until July 28, 2011.