California continues to lead the charge against global warming

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Not content to rest, however, lawmakers in the state where drivers of hybrid cars cruise solo in the carpool lane are busily crafting legislation to bar utilities from buying electricity from out-of-state coal plants that don’t meet emissions standards.

It’s no wonder California serves as the template for other states on global warming policy. It is the world’s eighth largest economy and 12th largest producer of greenhouse gases. Its sheer size and variable geography give scientists and policy makers a unique place to observe climate change, and to craft potential solutions.

Global warming is expected to have profound effect on California, home to one of every eight Americans. Rising temperatures threaten to diminish its water supply, increase flooding and fuel wildfires, while parts of its coastline will be inundated. Agriculture, its No. 1 industry, also could suffer, putting California’s famed wine country at risk.

In the eyes of many, as California goes, so goes the planet. Is the Bush administration listening?

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