In the last installment, we reviewed the history of the man-driven global warming argument, both as a political agenda created in Great Britain in the 1970s and as a scientific theory whose plausibility is in decline.
On the News-Sentinel’s website, we debunked the premise that a scientific consensus is a validation of any scientific theory.
Nevertheless, California’s politicians, in their wisdom, approved a bipartisan bill to fight climate change with The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or Assembly Bill (AB) 32. The voters reaffirmed it in 2010 with the defeat of California Proposition 23, which proposed suspension of AB32.
Briefly, AB32 requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the state’s most notorious agency, to develop regulations and market mechanisms to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which represents a 25 percent reduction statewide. Mandatory caps on emissions begin in 2012, with gradual reductions until 2020. The bill grants the governor the authority to suspend these emissions caps for up to one year in the case of an emergency or significant economic harm.
The primary “mechanism” of control is a cap-and-trade program that provides each greenhouse gas emitter “carbon credits” equivalent to its emission limit (“cap”). If a greenhouse gas emitter stays below the limit, it can sell (“trade”) its extra carbon credit allocation to another emitter who is exceeding its limits. These trades will be transacted in trading markets so the cost will be market-driven. This is where the corruption in CARB starts.
AB32 authorizes CARB to fund its own administration costs through the carbon credit program. However, CARB has retained carbon credits far beyond its costs, approximately $1 billion worth. The funds derived from these credits are to be redirected to fund the high-speed rail, not an action authorized by AB32. There will likely be court challenges because this is transforming a “fee” to a “tax” in violation of Proposition 26. In addition, $3.7 billion will transfer from fuel producers to CARB.
Furthermore, CARB has formed a company called Western Climate Initiative Inc. (WCI) to manage its upcoming cap-and-trade auction. Interestingly, WCI is registered in Delaware, not California. Why? Because Delaware is a state not subject to California’s open meeting law. Additionally, a trailer bill titled SB1018 was approved this summer that exempts California cap-and-trade auctions from state open meeting rules. Smell the corruption yet?
What does AB32 mean to us? Businesses are paying the bill, but the costs will be passed on to us in the form of lost jobs, higher gas prices and higher cost of goods for anything transported. Electric energy will also be impacted because the majority of it is generated by fossil fuels. In short, the cost of operating and living in California will be significantly higher.
According to a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) are expected to force California refineries to export fuel out of the state, reducing our local fuel supplies and driving costs up at the pump. Additionally, California will lose up to 51,000 manufacturing jobs and $4.4 billion in revenues per year by 2020.
The bottom line is that every Californian, including all men, women, and children, will pay an additional $210 to $780 per year for fuel-dependent products (almost everything). For those who drive cars, the increased cost will be $350 to $1,300 per year. That is a total of $560 to $2,080 per person per year, excluding increased electrical costs.
The cost of carbon credits are market-driven. Therefore, the cost passed on to us will fluctuate with the market. For our area, it takes nearly a gallon of gasoline/oil equivalent to produce a liter of wine. Question is, will Lodi-area wineries be able to compete nationally and internationally as fuel prices rise?
In conclusion, the only winners in this scam to solve a non-problem are CARB and the carbon trading markets. People and businesses will be forced out of the state, reducing the state’s already sagging revenues. The rest of us will have a lower standard of living. Will California survive this assault on its economy, or will it become the next Michigan?
Find out more by attending the Lodi Tea Party general meeting Monday, September 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the United Congregational Christian Church, 701 S. Hutchins St., Lodi.