10th Anniversary of Landmark Global Warning Law Celebrated

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SACRAMENTO -- Principals responsible for the passage of California's law to reduce greenhouse gases commemorated its passage 10 years ago at the California Museum in Sacramento.

Present was former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose USC Schwarzenegger Institute still champions global warming issues.

He recounted how difficult it was to fight oil companies and federal regulators in enacting the law credited for reducing CO2 contaminants by 24 million metric tons and reducing gasoline use by 2 billion gallons in favor of alternative fuels.

Lawmakers instrumental in passing the law like Sen. Fran Pavely and Assembly Speaker Emeritus Fabian Nunez were recognized as was Gov. Jerry Brown who touted alternative energy use during his first term as governor three decades ago.

The law has defied critics who said at the time that the economy would suffer irreparable harm. Schwarzenegger said California's economy is flourishing, and the law has spawned countless clean energy companies that now employ 500,000 people.

"We are the perfect example of how we can protect the economy and protect the environment simultaneously," said Schwarzenegger.

Brown couldn't help taking a jab a Republicans who were an obstacle to a governor of their own party in Schwarzenegger.

The actor drew praise for defying party politics in favor of doing what's right for Californians.

Brown said it's hard to find a Republican who acknowledges that global warming is an issue or one who supports current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission legislation.

But he also said the issue goes beyond party politics.

"This isn't about Republican party or the Democratic party...it's about human existence, it's about survival, it's about future generations," said Brown.

The speakers at the commemoration event said California took a bold step 10 years ago, and other states and countries are now following suit, if not the U.S. government.

"Come here and learn because it is an absolute necessity that on the national level that we have the same laws as we have in California," said Schwarzenegger.