Schwarzenegger Signs Global Warming Bill
Wednesday, September 27, 2006; 8:34 PM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed into law a sweeping global warming initiative that imposes the nation's first cap on greenhouse gas emissions, saying the effort kicks off "a bold new era of environmental protection."
Standing on picturesque Treasure Island with San Francisco's skyline in the background, Schwarzenegger called the fight against global warming one of the most important issues of modern times.
"We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late," Schwarzenegger said during an address before signing the bill.
Mayor Gavin Newsom and New York Gov. George Pataki, as well as Democratic legislators, joined Schwarzenegger for the high-profile ceremony. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who struck a deal with Schwarzenegger over the summer to develop clean technologies, joined the ceremony via video link.
Blair called the bill-signing "a proud day for political leadership" and "a historic day for the rest of the world, as well."
California's efforts on global warming have been in the spotlight since Schwarzenegger and the state's legislative Democrats reached an accord last month on the Democrat-authored bill to cut greenhouse gases.
The negotiations culminated in the last week of the legislative session, handing the Republican governor a key victory during an election year in which he has sought to portray himself as a friend to the environment.
On Wednesday, Schwarzenegger called the bill signing a historic occasion.
"It will begin a bold new era of environmental protection in California that will change the course of history," he said.
He expected other states, the federal government and even other nations to follow.
"I'm convinced of that ... because nothing is more important than protecting our planet," he said.
Schwarzenegger's Democratic opponent in the November election, state treasurer Phil Angelides, also supports the new law.