Assigned to NRIPD                                                                                             FOR CAUCUS & FLOOR ACTION






Forty-ninth Legislature, Second Regular Session





greenhouse emissions; legislative authority




           Upon voter approval, amends statute to declare that the Arizona State Legislature has the sole authority to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other emissions.




The federal Clean Air Act (Act), originally signed into law in 1963 and amended in 1990, defines the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mission to protect and improve the nation’s air quality.


GHGs are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere.  Some GHGs are emitted naturally and others are created and emitted by human activities.  The GHGs that are emitted through human activity are: 1) carbon dioxide, which is emitted through burning of fossil fuels; 2) methane, which is emitted in the production of coal, natural gas and oil and during agricultural practices; 3) nitrous oxide, which is produced in agricultural and industrial activities; and 4) fluorinated gases such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride, which are emitted from various industrial processes.


On April 2, 2007, in Massachusetts v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court required the Administrator of the EPA to determine whether emissions of GHGs cause or contribute to air pollution which may endanger public health or welfare. In 2009, the Administrator signed the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act, which found that the current and projected atmospheric concentrations of the six key GHGs threaten public health and welfare.


There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund as a result of this legislation.




1.      Declares that the State of the Arizona, through its Legislature, has the exclusive authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions produced by humans and other GHGs and substances produced by mechanical or chemical processes, including agricultural operations and waste operations.


2.      Specifies that the act may be cited as the “Freedom to Breathe Act.”


3.      Contains a declaration of the State of Arizona’s legal authority to regulate GHGs and other emissions under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and other laws.


4.      Contains a declaration of the State of Arizona’s exclusive sovereignty to regulate intrastate emissions of GHGs. Asserts that any effort by a governmental official to enforce federal laws or such regulation is a violation of civil rights and unlawful under Arizona law.


5.      Contains a severability clause that specifies if any one provision of S.C.R. 1050 is found unlawful or unconstitutional, the remaining parts are still in full force and effect. Prescribes rules of construction for a court to adopt when considering the legal merit of each provision of S.C.R. 1050.


6.      Requires the Secretary of the State to submit the proposed statutory change to the voters at the next general election.


7.      Becomes effective if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the Governor.




·         Corrects references to specify that S.C.R. 1050 is proposed a change to statute, not a constitutional amendment.


Senate Action


NRIPD            2/15/10      DP     4-2-1-0


Prepared by Senate Research

March 8, 2010