Some Republicans, including some legislators, are doing their best to repeal one of California’s landmark pieces of legislation: AB 32. The climate change bill is now finally being put into action. Arnold, while getting off to a rough start with the implementation, has allowed Mary Nichols and the team at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to do their jobs.
But, businesses and the right, well, they are apparently a tad bit chilly and would prefer a warmer clime with less water. So, they filed an initiative that would cease implementation until unemployment reaches some arbitrary figure. Here’s the title summary from the AG:
SUSPENDS AIR POLLUTION CONTROL LAWS REQUIRING MAJOR POLLUTERS TO REPORT AND REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS THAT CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING UNTIL UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS BELOW SPECIFIED LEVEL FOR FULL YEAR. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Suspends State laws requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, until California’s unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters. Requires State to abandon implementation of comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries, until suspension is lifted. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: Potential positive, short-term impacts on state and local government revenues from the suspension of regulatory activity, with uncertain longer-run impacts. Potential foregone state revenues from the auctioning of emission allowances by state government, by suspending the future implementation of cap-and-trade regulations.
This pretty much exactly describes the measure. Short-term small gains, long-term stupid. But Asm. Dan Logue disagrees, claiming the damned, dirty (or clean, as the case may be) environmentalists are behind this summary:
“I wonder if he’s running for governor,” Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Marysville), a backer of the initiative, quipped after reading the summary. “This looks like he handed this over to the environmental community and asked them to write this summary for them.” (LA Times
Logue says they might sue over the summary, but that happens with pretty much every summary. The AG has wide discretion over title and summary, and the case has to be outside of that discretion to be changed by the courts. In other words, it has to not really address the proposition. In this case, I’m not sure which of the points they would argue is factually incorrect.
The fact is that this measure would actually hurt our long-term economy. AB 32 stands to put California at the front of the green economy, but Logue and his ilk want to push us back to the days of coal and soot.