California is truly #1…when it comes to being the worst run state in the country.

In part, this stellar achievement has been the end result the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations. This agency’s tactics portend the approach the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is apt to take under the Obama administration. Therefore, I wanted to share an example of how extreme environmentalism is implemented in my state as a dire warning to other citizens.

In 2006, Californians voted to enact the Global Warming Solutions Act, which is essentially “cap and trade.” The state legislature then wrote procedures to implement the measure in Assembly Bill 32 (AB32), which enabled the collection of tax from carbon emitters and does little to actually protect the atmosphere from carbon dioxide emissions. CARB is the lead agency enforcing AB32.

Lorraine Yapps Cohen, writer for the San Diego Examiner and a chemist, describes the first state auction of cap-and-trade credits, which took place Nov. 14th after CARB ignored a lawsuit brought by the California Chamber of Commerce.

There were 23,126,110 carbon allowances up for auction, each requiring a minimum bid of $10.00. Most bids were higher than that. After all, survival was on the line for many businesses. The highest bidder pays to emit in exchange for another business never emitting much at all.

Note that in this exchange, no CO2 is removed from the air, only moved to a different emitter. Carbon emissions do not change, nor are they reduced, not that reductions would affect global temperatures much anyway.

During the auction, over $245 million was raised from companies that included BP, Chevron, Exxon, Lockheed Martin, San Diego Gas & Electric, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and ConAgra Foods. These funds will not go toward any effort to clean or protect California’s air our water; they will go to empowering unions and bureaucrats like CARB’s employees.

Cal Watchdog writer Katy Grimes reports that the auction itself was less than successful and lacked transparency.

Despite trying to sound as if the auction was a resounding success in a media conference call on Monday, it appears that CARB’s first auction lacked a little luster.

But the overshadowing issue was the secrecy in which the auction was conducted by the state agency, and its refusal to publish any information about the bidders or the amounts they purchased.

Lack of transparency is a hallmark of EPA’s approach as well. Yapps Cohen notes that the agency has been caught using alias emails to hide communications.

Republicans on the House Committee for Science, Space, and Technology, including California Representative Dana Rohrabacher, initiated a probe into the matter when the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner found Lisa Jackson using email accounts under another name. One of the alias accounts was named as ‘Richard Windsor.’

Why would any government entity need to hide its correspondence if its sole concern was the health of the citizens and the quality of the environment?  This approach is deeply troubling, as the EPA is poised to generate much more job-killing regulations in President Obama’s second term.

Using CARB’s rules and tactics as a template, it is quite clear that a federal version of cap-and-trade would be the pinnacle of wealth redistribution on the backs of the businesses that fuel the American economic engine. Implementation of this type of program would be neither fair nor transparent and likely reek of deal making with special exemptions for politically connected firms.

California, once again, leads the way for the rest of the nation. If CARB’s methods go national, we will be contenders for the #1 worst run country.

 
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