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 September 09, 2014
Back in Sacramento, Arnold Schwarzenegger touts climate change record

 
Since Arnold Schwarzenegger left the California governor's office nearly four years ago, he's traveled the world, created an eponymous think tank and cranked out the kind of violent action movies that made him a blockbuster movie star..

But he hasn't been back to Sacramento, where he spent seven turbulent years leading the state, until now. Schwarzenegger will be in the Capitol on Monday afternoon for the unveiling of his official portrait.

Earlier in the day, he was at a climate change conference hosted by the California Environmental Protection Agency, where he highlighted his work combating greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the biggest initiatives being advanced by Gov. Jerry Brown today -- the $68-billion bullet train and the cap-and-trade program -- were started during Schwarzenegger's administration.

"While the politicians in Washington can't get anything done because they're stuck in these ideological foxholes, we here in California have two governors from two different parties in the same room fighting for the same green energy future," Schwarzenegger said.

He recounted battling naysayers who thought cap-and-trade, which aims to lower pollution by charging fees to polluters, would harm the economy and cost California jobs.

"They were wrong," he said. "We were right."

The speech was a reminder that Schwarzenegger is the rare Republican who has been outspoken about the dangers of climate change.

"Arnold is a leader who let the science and the reality of climate change convince him that something needed to be done," said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. "He was willing to ignore or overcome arguments that came from his own party about the politics of the issue."