Governor Schwarzenegger Honored at 2007 Edmund G. Brown Award Luncheon
>>: Thank you all very much. It's quite a turnout. I'm just delighted that everyone was able to come. I think, as most of you know, most of you in this room are all too aware, collaboration in politics is a lot like moderation in eating -- as you are sitting here eating -- often preached, but seldom practiced. Thirty-four years ago the late Governor Pat Brown believed that collaboration could fundamentally change politics in California. He founded CCEEB to advance this goal. As we look around the room today we see our friends, representing business, labor, the environment, government and others, who all strive to continue his legacy. I think Governor Brown would be very pleased. Governor Brown and the founding members of CCEEB could not possibly know then the challenges California would face today, but they did put into place the groundwork for collaboration which they felt could help solve our future problems. Climate change tests this, and us.
Rarely has there been an environmental or economic problem of such complexity, of such magnitude, or of such reach. When the state's leadership -- and leadership is the right word -- when they decided to tackle climate change, they relied on collaboration with each other and with the people of California. Under their leadership many of us have been able to make important contributions to the policy debate, including some here, like Tom Graff and Karen Douglas -- if you would stand up -- of Environmental Defense. (Applause)
And Devra Wang of NRDC, who regretfully cannot be with us today. Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Perata, Speaker Núñez, we applaud you and encourage you to continue your efforts to set California on a path to a better future. Just as Pat Brown could not see the future but could anticipate it, so must we work together on behalf of future generations. In 30 years or in 50 years, how will those Californians judge us? In the words of our founder: "What we do here may not have its full impact on our own lives. Our children and their children will be the better judges of what we do. Their judgment won't be based on writing in the books; it will be based on actions taken to ensure a sound economy and a healthy environment that support life on earth." Pat Brown went on to say: "The world now looks to California as a beachhead on the future, with all of the future's promises and perils. You and I are here to help realize the promises, and diminish the perils."
CCEEB supports California's leadership on climate change, and believes that working together our actions can reverberate throughout the nation and across the globe. As an expression of our commitment to combat climate change we honor our state's leaders with this year's Pat Brown Award. We thank PG&E, particularly Nancy McFadden and Kent Couse (phonetic) for their nomination.
And now it gives me great pleasure to introduce the Governor of our Golden State, Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Applause)
GOVERNOR: Thank you very much. Thank you for the nice introduction. And it is nice to be here and to be a recipient of the Pat Brown Award. This is really terrific, I can't wait to get it. And let me tell you something, that I have gotten, of course, in my career many different awards. You can imagine, in bodybuilding, and in lifting, and all of those things. But this is different, because when you get an award for lifting 500 pounds it's an award of what you have done with yourself, and for yourself. Or when you win an award or a trophy for bodybuilding, it's what you have done for yourself. But this, getting an award like this, is what you have done for the environment, what you have done for millions and millions of people. So this is without any doubt the most important award that I have ever received, so I just want to say thank you to all of you for giving me this award.
And especially it is great because it is for protecting the environment and fighting global warming. And three and a half years ago when I ran for governor I said that we have to protect the environment and protect the economy at the same time. So it is really amazing, when you think back, when the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance was created by Pat Brown in 1973, that he thought about that already, and that he envisioned that, because that's where the action is.
And I think that Governor Brown was really smart by including everybody. He reached out to business leaders, to labor leaders, environmentalists, public leaders and community leaders, and everybody. Everyone is included in this foundation and organization. And he challenged all Californians, always, and he talked about it, and he said: "Can we have economic growth and a better environment?" And of course he said: "We can and we must. For, in reality, we cannot divide and segregate economic and environmental issues." Those two are interconnected and interrelated, and this is exactly what it is.
And I think that it is really so terrific that we now have such great leaders, Senate President Pro Tem Perata and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, that have been such unbelievable partners, because the kind of things that we have done in California since I have come into office was truly only possible because of both of those leaders. I think the world of both of them, because every time I have a conversation they talk about the environment and how important it is to protect the environment. Their heart is in that, their soul is in that subject. And so this is really terrific, that is what makes us able to go and move the agenda forward.
And so this is why we were able to accomplish so much in these last three and a half years, if it is the 25 million acre Sierra Nevada Conservancy that we put aside for future generations, or if it is the Million Solar Roof Initiative, or our Ocean Action Plan, the Hydrogen Highway -- to build the Hydrogen Highway all the way from Baja all the way up to Alaska -- or to pass AB 32, and to roll back our greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level by the year 2020, and then an additional 80 percent below that by the year 2050. Or the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the Executive Order that I signed in January, or Senator Perata's Clean Energy Bill, for instance, and much, much more.
So there are so many things that we accomplished, and literally not only for California, but for the country and for the world, because we inspire so many states and so many other countries to go in the same direction. And as I have always said, that when you look at the map you see California being only a little spot. But the power of influence that we have on the rest of the world, it makes us like a huge continent. That's how big we are, and so the rest of the world is looking at us, and is writing about us, and reporting about us. And there is no one anywhere in the world that is now talking about the environment and protecting the environment, where they don't include California in their speeches, as us being a great example, of what we have accomplished.
I just came back from Utah with Governor Huntsman, and he has just joined our Western Regional Partnership with other states to do the same thing as we are doing, rolling back the greenhouse gas emissions, right along with Arizona and New Mexico, and with Oregon and Washington, and with some of the provinces in Canada. I mean, it's really incredible how quickly this spreads, the partnership, the Northeastern states, including England. And this is what's going to go on in the future, so I’m very excited about that.
And I'm very happy also that we could prove that at the same time, while we are protecting the environment, that we created 866,000 jobs. And I just handed in my May Revise, and there we saw 101.3 billion dollars in revenues, the highest revenues in the history of California, while we are protecting our environment. So those are the kinds of things that we are doing here in California, so we are a perfect example for the rest of the world.
And I again want to say to both of my leaders, and my friends here, thank you very much for the great partnership, because without them we could have done nothing. They are the ones that are working very hard and believing in protecting the environment and with them we could do this together. So thank you very much, again. Thank you. (Applause)
>>: And now the President Pro Tem of the Senate, Don Perata.
SENATOR PERATA: Thank you. I didn't prepare any remarks. I knew I was a finalist, I didn't know I'd win anything. I have not won a lot of awards, so -- I've made a lot of threats to people that said they were going to give me an award. But it's an honor to be here with both the Governor and the Speaker. I kind of went along for the ride, almost literally, on the Governor's plane where we started talking about some of these things a couple years back.
But it was really the tenacity of the Speaker, who was going to have that bill, but he was going to have it so it meant something, not just something we could hang on the wall. So I just want to acknowledge that when you have legislative leaders who are able to take an issue and run hard with it, it's one thing, but being able to convince people in both Houses that it's important, is another thing, and so I congratulate him.
Of course, with the Governor we have, I would say unrivaled, the best spokesperson for California that we've ever had. In all deference to Pat Brown, no one has been able to capture the image of California and project it on the large screen. I've learned how to use all those references now. I even know what 'above the title' means, for Christ's sake. I've learned a few things. But it is a perfect partnership.
We must also give homage to our Republican leaders. Oftentimes they have struggled hard to understand exactly what it is that we were talking about. But they do recognize that California, as one of the most beautiful places in the world, but also just its landmass and its diversity, requires different approaches for different things. And while many were not able to finally support, I have seen over the last year and a half progress that we are making as a consortium of Democrats and Republicans, where it's no longer, "Hell no, we won't go," or a line in the sand. But with the bonds we had Republicans who were supporting Parks, Park funding in the bonds. I don't know if 5, 10 years ago you would have seen that happening. So we are making progress. It is about leadership, it's about setting aside what keeps us apart and spending our attention on what we have in common.
So I see this as simply the first round of a long fight that we're going to have for the environment. I was asked recently how we can have it both ways, have environmental preservation, environmental leadership, and still keep our economy going. And what we have in this state is very rare. We have the greatest university system in the world, so we have the classroom. We have the laboratory, because everything that we develop in California we can test right here. And then finally we have the market. We have the greatest marketplace in the world. And so in California we can provide the leadership for the next generation, for the generation after that. This is not a fad; this is a fact. And we are able to show that it can come from idea to laboratory to practice to market without ever leaving home.
So I hope other places will, in fact, do as we are doing, that we are in the conversation. That we have had the Governor and the Speaker going to places where they're invited to talk about California, to talk about AB 32, is a remarkable achievement. But I believe we have the horsepower, and the fact that we have people here who otherwise might not find a lot to talk about, have something to talk about in common.
So I solute the leadership of the Governor, my friend and colleague Fabian Núñez, and all of you for being willing to sustain what I believe is the most significant thing we can do with the time that we have in California and in California's leadership. Thank you. (Applause)
>>: And finally the Speaker of the Assembly, Fabian Núñez. (Applause)
SPEAKER NÚÑEZ: Thank you very much. I know the Governor missed a couple of his comments. Do you mind if I -- it's post-partisanship, we share each other's notes here. I do want to say a couple of things about first Pat Brown, and then some of our friends who were so helpful in helping us get to the finish line on what I consider to be gold standard legislation, or gold standard law in California to combat global warming in a way that even members of Congress on the Democratic side of the aisle -- I don't know, Senator Perata, and Governor, in your visits to Washington -- folks have looked to me and said, "You know, you guys maybe went a little bit too far in California." And I've always said, "Actually, we really want to go a little bit further in this state."
But you know, when I get up every morning and come to work, I'm always inspired by the challenge to want to improve California, particularly for our kids. Because when you look at the children in California and you think about the role that our state has played across the country, as the trailblazing state that California has been, the innovative state that is has been, the fact that ideas germinate in California, they materialize in our state, and then we export them to the rest of the country. And that is a real responsibility that I think took a measure of leadership for 1, the Governor, and 2, the legislative leaders, to come together and to really start thinking in practical terms about results; thinking about outcomes, thinking about the end game with respect to all of the issues that we deal with on a daily basis.
And so I come to the office every day, and in fact, as I walk out of my office, I always get a glance at Governor Brown -- and I mean Governor Pat Brown, and not Governor Jerry Brown, who is now Attorney General Jerry Brown -- and for us younger people, younger generation, sometimes we have to make the difference, when we talk about Governor Brown, because -- well, I’m not going to tell you where I was when Governor Pat Brown was Governor, but -- well, I was a twinkle in my father's eye at the time, Don.
But I will tell you that his vision really helped put California on the national map in the way the Governor has described, which is a remarkable thing to leave as part of the history, the heritage, of one's tenure in office. When people think about Pat Brown, we don't just think about the infrastructure investment that he made in our roads and highways and schools, and in water infrastructure; we think about the leadership that he provided. Albeit he was not the most popular governor in the world, certainly not the most popular governor in recent history; but he did have a sense of idealism, balanced with a very pragmatic approach to government, understanding that California is an important place to get things done, and California needs to be a leader for the rest of the country.
And I think that one of the reasons why I feel so honored to be one of three recipients here is that clearly I’m standing with two of the greatest leaders California has ever had, but also because of what Governor Pat Brown represents to me and to many young people who perhaps weren't born at the time that he was governor, and some of us who were, were very young while he was governor. But know that one leaves a lasting mark, when you think about a footprint that is larger than your own, and it impacts the lives of other people.
And this is one of the reasons why, when I decided to author this bill at the time the bill was in the Senate, and it was a bill that simply would have required industries to report their carbon emissions. And at the time we thought, well, we do have the registry, but it's voluntary. We needed a mandatory reporting. We figured, you get from mandatory reporting, eventually maybe you can get to mandatory reductions of emissions. And I spent some time discussing this with Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, who also was the author of the Tailpipe Emissions Bill in 2002, and we had a great conversation about this. I was her seatmate, and she said, "You know we're thinking about doing this. We're going to load up the bill, but eventually we'll negotiate something." And I said, "I think I want to do it."
I went home and discussed it with my wife and my 15 year old daughter who looked at me when I'd said, "Here's what we're going to do," and I was really excited. She looked at me and she said, "Well what is that going to accomplish? That's not going to do anything. People are going to report what they emit? They're not going to reduce it, are they?" And I thought about it, and I said, "You know, you don’t know what you're talking about." I didn't say this to her, but this 15 year old kid doesn't know what she's talking about, she doesn't know how government works.
Then I met with the environmental groups. And you know, one thing that really struck home is when they talked to me about how we had an opportunity to make a difference for the rest of the country. While the world is changing around America, and the growing awareness of the need to combat global warming has risen to a level around the world that people look to the United States, and the first ting they think about us is -- well, they don't like us because of the war, our intervention in Iraq.
The second thing they're upset at us about is we're not doing anything at the national level to combat global warming. All the countries in the world, including India and China, incidentally -- including India and China -- who say, "How dare you tell us that we have to reduce our emissions in China, in particular, when we're going through the industrial revolution that you went through close to 200 years ago, and you're less than 5 percent of the population, and you're about 40 percent of the problem, and you're going to tell us we're the problem?" Of course, India says the same thing.
But the environmental community convinced me that it was important to have a framework out of California that could help us build the momentum from the bottom up across the country, and that this was the only way we're going to get Congress to act, albeit we didn't know whether Congress would act. But we knew that if we took the right steps in California that ultimately the rest of the nation would follow. And we also knew that if we had a governor championing this cause, it would help spur the type of discussion and debate across the country that would elevate this issue to the kitchen table of every family in this country. And the environmental community knew that.
And so today, as we celebrate and recognize -- get this wonderful recognition and award, which I really appreciate -- I want to share this not only with my friends in the Assembly and the Senate, Senator Perata, that was so supportive in the process. He has his staff consulting Kip Lipper on this. Kip was on it, he spent weekends negotiating. And I remember seeing him in his shorts -- his legs are a little white, needs a little sun -- but he'd come to my office on Saturdays and Sundays, we'd sit there and talk about what we had to do with the bill.
And of course my colleagues, who -- not everybody was enthusiastic about this, and I've got to tell you, the Governor was enthusiastic about this before some members of my own party, I would admit, were enthusiastic about this. And we had to work, but I was very proud that we were able to get his bill out of the Assembly and the Senate, very proud of the work of the staff, but more proud of the commitment of the environmental community in California, because they fought so hard, and they kept me on the straight and narrow on this, to make sure that this truly was gold standard legislation. So I want to share this award with all of you, because you were just amazing. You made a believer out of me, you educated me, you brought me along the way, and you created a champion for this cause that didn't realize that the environment was big for me.
I'll tell you, I grew up in a neighborhood in San Diego -- I'll spend just a minute to tell you this story. I've thought back about this, and I lived on 28th and Boston in an area called Logan Heights. We have a pristine coastline in California. If you live in Logan Heights you wouldn’t know that was the case, because I looked out my apartment building and there was a bay there, but you couldn’t see the boats in the bay. You actually saw the smokestacks of a shipbuilding company called NASCO, National American Shipbuilding Company, three and a half blocks from my apartment complex. That was my view to the ocean; that was my view to the bay. And I was surrounded by liquor stores, billboards, and junkyards, and some stray dogs from time to time. That's the neighborhood I grew up in.
And I've come full circle. Once we do this, and work on this legislation, I tell you, there's nothing more important, I believe, that I will ever do in my life than to be part of this effort. And I say, "be part", because certainly I don't deserve all the credit for this, even though my name was on the bill and I worked very hard for it. I think a lot of people did so much to get us to where we are today. And to see the Governor traveling around the country and around the world -- I've done a little bit of that, but he's done most of it -- he is the best salesperson we have, Don is right. And I've got to tell you, the fact that we've risen this issue and elevated it to a level -- it was beyond what we'd thought about when we were sitting there in the Willie Brown Conference Room day in and day out, trying to figure out how we could get this bill done, and how we could get the Governor's signature on it. And I tell you, not only did he sign the bill, but he's traveling all over the world talking to people about it. And I think that debate has been elevated to a new level, and we should all be very proud of what we were able to do here in California.
And let that be only but an example of the things to come yet, the things to be done yet, the improvements that we still need to make to make sure that the quality of life of every person in this state and across the country is at the highest level that one can achieve, Because at the end of the day, it's about improving the human condition, and I think that's what motivated all of us to do what we did on AB 32. Thank you very much. Have a good day. (Applause)
>>: And now our Chairman, Wally McGuire, will present the awards. Walter? (Applause)
MR. McGUIRE: I want to thank everybody on behalf of CCEEB, and actually the State of California, for being here today. I heard a thing on NPR a couple of weeks ago, it was an old New England fisherman who was just being interviewed, he was talking about some environmental problems that were really hurting his industry. And he said something which I thought was terrific, and maybe frames these awards today. He said: "You know, our children are not our future; we are their future." And I thought that was a heck of a turn on the phrase, because today we honor three wonderful leaders who actually have done something that will make my kids, and I'm sure the kids of this state, and maybe the world, a much better place.
So with the awards, the Pat Brown Awards, I'm sure if you've read the little thing in front of you, they're really to recognize people who stand for the principles of environmental and economic balance, and I can't think of three leaders, and quite frankly an organization , that does that better than CCEEB and these three leaders on the stage. We basically, I think, with AB 32 and other things we've done and said, that the fight against global warming really starts at home, and that home is California. And there's a choice, and California has made a choice to do something about it.
So I think we're honored to have the Governor and the Speaker and Senator Perata here. And first I'd like to say, as I give the award to the Governor, last year I was honored to have you give out our Flex Your Power Awards, the energy awards. Every year we give out awards for people who saved energy. The award winner that in the last two years -- and these are like 60 companies, total -- saved over 1 billion kilowatt hours, they saved over 170 million dollars, and in the impact, had the equivalent of taking about 89,000 cars off the road in greenhouse gas emissions. That's a statement of companies, water districts, school districts, around this state that we can make a difference, and we can actually meet those wonderful goals that are being set by AB 32 and our leaders.
So the first award, that we're all proud to give, is to Governor Schwarzenegger. (Applause)
Senator Perata -- and it's been said here before -- represents, I think, a world-class legislature and a world class staff in that legislature. I think the reason the world looks to California -- when they get up in the morning to figure out what they have to do in few years, they look to California first, and I think that's because we've had such bold leadership. We're not afraid to take a chance, and I can't think of a person, for many years, quite honestly, that represents that innovation, the boldness, and a true commitment, than Senator Perata. So the second award goes to him. (Applause)
And the third award goes to the Speaker. California is the most diverse place in the world. Not just its highest mountains and its lowest deserts and 100 different languages we speak. We probably have the most liberal and the most conservative people, and they all have a representative in the Assembly. And you would probably wonder, how do you get anything done? Well, you have to look to the leadership of our Speaker, and the wonderful job to corral those and be able to pass really meaningful legislation. We're talking about the legislation that probably is leading the world right now. It doesn't happen without somebody working those long weekends and putting up with Kip Lipper's white legs. So I'd like to give the final award to Speaker Núñez. (Applause)
Thank you all.
>>: Just a few closing remarks. First, thank you to Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Perata, and Speaker Núñez for joining us today and providing us with your insight and dedication. And thank you to all of our friends and guests in attendance. This has been a very special day for us, not least because of the remarkable and diverse group that's present here. Together we are the voice of CCEEB, and we can make a difference. And of course, thank you to our staff and our consultants, without whom this would not have been possible. So thank you very much. (Applause)