SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The governors of Pacific coastal U.S. states and a Canadian province official are joining forces in a new effort to fight climate change.
In an agreement announced Monday, the governors of California, Oregon, Washington and the environment minister of British Columbia, Mary Polak, will place a price on greenhouse gas pollution and mandate the use of cleaner-burning fuels.
Polak and the governors gathered in San Francisco in the hope of stimulating a clean-energy economy in the region, which has a combined gross domestic product of $2.8 trillion.
California and British Columbia already have placed a price on greenhouse gas emissions — through cap-and-trade and a carbon tax, respectively — and adopted clean fuel standards.
"We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change and we are the last generation who can do something about it," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said.
Under terms of the agreement announced Monday, Oregon and Washington's governors are committing their states to move forward with similar policies, even though the legislatures of both states have denied previous attempts to adopt cap-and-trade.
"California isn't waiting for the rest of the world before it takes action on climate change," California Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement. "Today, California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia are all joining together to reduce greenhouse gases."
The deal stems from the work of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, a group meant to organize climate change and clean energy policies in a region with 53 million people.
Washington's Inslee supports a statewide cap on carbon-fuel emissions, among several ideas to get the state closer to reaching goals set in 2008 to cut global warming pollution.
Still, getting bipartisan support for a cap-and-trade program in Washington state will be difficult. Former Gov. Chris Gregoire aggressively pushed for and failed to get lawmakers in 2009 to approve a market-based carbon trading system.
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