Mardon, Mark

Mark Mardon edits publications for Forests Forever. He has covered environmental issues extensively, including as staff writer and associate editor of Sierra, the Sierra Club’s flagship publication, from 1987-1994.

California Air Resources Board Grants Forest Clearcutters a Free CO2 Pass

By Mark Mardon
Forests Forever

Charged with implementing the provisions of A.B. 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the California Air Resource Board (ARB) last Dec.16 held a marathon day of public testimony in Sacramento before adopting the cap-and-trade program they declared would set “the gold standard” for such programs nation-wide.

Perhaps they meant fool’s gold, because in its rush to establish the final forestry greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting protocols for the program, the board tarnished the standard by giving timber companies a free pass on clearcutting. 

A.B. 32, signed into law by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, requires California to reduce its GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The cap-and-trade program being implemented to achieve that goal is due to begin in 2012.