According to Stanford author Walter Reid, California's strict environmental laws saved consumers and businesses $56 billion through gains in efficiency since the first major oil price spike in the 1970s.
Reid studied the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo and California, both in countries that have not signed the Kyoto accord. Both have made concerted efforts to cut greenhouse gases. Contrary to the critics, both have saved money. California's per capita creation of greenhouse gasses is now half that of the U.S. as a whole.
The heads of both states will be at the Montreal greenhouse gas meeting this week and will sign a pact to reduce greenhouse gases.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger set California's target to reduce greenhouse gases by 2050 to 80 percent of 1990 levels.
For decades companies and states relied on relatively low-cost energy supplies but with oil and natural gas prices more than triple what they were in the late 1990s, investment in renewable energy sources is a no-brainer according to Reid.