California's global warming law is creating state jobs

The state's landmark global warming law has yet to create the promised bonanza of green jobs, but it has boosted payrolls in another sector of the economy: state government.

At a time of budget cuts and state worker furloughs, the state agency primarily responsible for regulating global warming has bulked up its staff as it prepares to enforce AB 32, the climate change law signed in 2006 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Since 2007, the California Air Resources Board has added more than 150 employees, an increase of 12.5 percent. The additions include dozens of scientists, engineers, technicians and other air pollution experts.

Other state agencies, such as the California Energy Commission and the Department of Resources Recycling Recovery, have added 29 positions as part of the climate change initiative.

Founded in 1967, the 11-member California Air Resources Board enforces the state's air pollution laws. It is the lead agency in implementing AB 32, which aims to reduce California's carbon emissions 15 percent by 2020.

AB 32 gives the agency the power to "regulate all sorts of facets that will affect the economy," said Tyson Slocum, director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C., consumer advocacy group. "That's a powerful agency," he said.

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