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Small grant seeks big change 

The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District has awarded the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club $10,000 to implement a climate protection plan and encourage local governments in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
The control district allocated a total of $147,000 to assist local governments in the implementation of their greenhouse gas reduction plans. 

In response to a state directive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming concerns, the district adopted a climate protection plan in November 2005, aimed at reducing local emissions and increasing public awareness on global climate change. The state has called for reducing statewide emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. 

The action plan identifies seven particular actions that could be implemented to address greenhouse gases at the local level. They range from creating a countywide inventory of emissions to identifying the best ways to reduce them with the help of local industry and a partnership with Cal Poly. 

Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere. They include carbon dioxide—which occurs naturally and through human activity—methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases—which are created and emitted solely through human activities. Greenhouse gasses are the leading cause of global warming, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 

“The plan is to assist cities in developing the means by which they can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Andrew Christie, chapter director of the Sierra Club. “Cumulative local actions have a positive impact on global climate change. This will improve air quality, traffic, the local economy, and employment, reduce municipal operating costs, and ensure the sustainability and livability of our communities.” 

The funds will also have Sierra Club working with Cal Poly faculty and students in the Empower Poly Coalition, according to Aeron Arlin-Genet of the control district.
While the control district will be in charge of identifying emissions, it will ultimately be up to cities and the county to plan ways to reduce them. 

The City of San Luis Obispo is currently working on their inventory, and Paso Robles is following suit at any moment, according to Larry Allen, Air Pollution Control Officer at APCD. Several cities across the county also have made commitments to get involved and implement a climate protection plan
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