Will "Going Green" Backfire?

With nearly every politician — from city councils to state legislators, governors  and congress – embracing green technology as the cause du jour, they don’t realize that with every bill signed, they may be actually killing the industry.

It’s kind of like reverse psychology. Politicians will kill green jobs, businesses and technology because they are ramming it down the publics’ throat, just like nationalized health care. And look at how great nationalized health care is being received…

This morning, Governor Schwarzenegger is going to sign AB 110 (Skinner).

In order to understand what this bill is, one must go to the right source. According to the Earth Times, “this is a bill to raise the cap on a key solar policy called “net metering.” Net metering is a simple billing arrangement that allows solar customers to get fair retail credit for the excess electricity their systems generate during daytime hours.”

Even with the public screaming loudly about the state of the state’s finances, legislators and the Governor continue to manipulate the green technology market. AB 32 wasn’t enough apparently.

Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda is collecting signatures for a ballot initiative named, “The Global Warming Solutions Act.” The initiative would suspend AB 32, the cap-and-trade law, until the unemployment rate in California falls below 5.5%. It is scheduled for November’s ballot and appears to be gaining a head of steam.

The Wall Street Journal explained California’s green obsession really well: “A 2009 study by economists at the California State University at Sacramento and commissioned by the California Small Business Roundtable found that the implementation costs “could easily exceed $100 billion” and that the program would raise the cost of living by $3,857 per household each year by 2020. So much for the free green lunch.

The law all but encourages outsourcing to Nevada, Texas, China and India. Even the liberal Sacramento Bee, which supports the law, says that policy makers should be “candid about the real costs of the transition it is contemplating. . . . Industries that are energy-intensive will move elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, a new study commissioned by the Governor’s Office of Small Business Advocacy estimates that the direct cost of current California regulation is $175 billion, or nearly twice the size of the state general fund budget and about $134,000 per small business each year. The Golden State already has the second most business-unfriendly regulatory climate in the nation, after New Jersey and before the cap-and-trade law.”

Instead of allowing the free market to support green technology, politicians are more likely setting it back. When politicians jump on a trendy bandwagon, John Q. Public gets a real distaste for the issue.

Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson is doing the same: “Across the country, from the White House down to states and cities, there is a buzz around all things “green.”  I believe strongly that Sacramento can become a national leader in the green movement.  Think about it: if you want to get into finance, you go to New York. If you want to go into politics, you go to Washington, DC. If you want to get into entertainment, you move to Los Angeles. If you want to get into high tech, you go to Silicon Valley.

My vision is to turn Sacramento into the “Emerald Valley” – the national hub for green business and innovation – where people from across the country come to be at the forefront of the green movement.”

Message to Schwarzenegger and Johnson: Spare us the political pandering to the enviros and the left, and balance the [email protected]*%& budgets! Right now, tax payers don’t want to hear anything about going green… at least private sector taxpayers.

– Katy Grimes

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  1. C Walker
    C Walker 26 February, 2010, 08:24

    It is many voters up here in the foothills hopes that not only will work to see the AB32 signiture gathering fail but will work tirelessly to see that this foolishness costs Dan Logue his seat in the Assembly.

    Reply this comment
  2. Steven Maviglio
    Steven Maviglio 26 February, 2010, 09:34

    Katy, Your story is factually incorrect. Mr. Logue’s measure is not “gaining steam.” In fact, he hasn’t even opened a campaign committee yet, the petitions are not on the streets, and it is unlikely to be on the November ballot unless he raises about $2 million in the next week. There are no signs of that.

    That said, you’re right. We should focusing on creating jobs and balancing budgets. And that’s exactly what AB 32 is about. AB 32 is the catalyst for several billion dollars of venture capital investment in our state and real economic studies (not the Varshney study, which has been roundly dismissed by mainstream economists) show it will create tens of thousands of new economy jobs. That’s why Small Business California supports it, as do large companies that employ thousands of Californians, such as Waste Management, Google, and Virgin America.

    This isn’t jobs vs. environment. It’s polluters vs. the new clean energy economy that will increase America’s security by weaning us foreign oil.

    Reply this comment
  3. EastBayLarry
    EastBayLarry 26 February, 2010, 10:00

    The whole “green” movement needs to stop a catch their collective breath. I for one would be glad to live my life without harming the planet, but I need to stress LIVE my life. If green legislation and susequently artificially increased energy costs cause me to: 1) lose my job, 2) be unable to pay my utility bills and ultimately 3) not be able to house and feed my family, then I cannot support it.

    Reply this comment
  4. PRI
    PRI Author 26 February, 2010, 10:12

    We will have to agree to disagree Steve. “Gaining steam” is after all my opinion however, I am quite tuned in to Logue’s initiative efforts and have been closely following progress of his initiative.

    The Varshney study may have been dismissed by your preferred “maintstream” economists, but if they are anything like the “mainstream” global warming experts, I wouldn’t put much faith in their findings.

    AB 32 is a business and job killer and probably one of the most intrusive pieces of legislation ever introduced. We obviously come from differing perspectives on this issue — mine is the private sector that ends up paying for all of these programs through ever-increasing taxes, regulations, fees, labor laws, workers compensation, environmental requirements, and restrictions rendering California businesses non-competitive with neighboring states, much less globally.

    Government does not create jobs Steve, unless it cuts taxes and regulations allowing business owners to actually hire more people. And tax credits for hiring employees are a sad joke that even “mainstream” economists should see.

    Reply this comment
  5. lobbyguy41
    lobbyguy41 26 February, 2010, 20:30

    Could someone explain what the “green economy” is? The State and many local agencies are essentially bankrupt – the State is looking to sell a variety of assets to pay its bills (that’s always a good sign) Wall Street is back handing out big bonuses and killing the Euro along with the Greeks and probably Italy, Spain and Portugal behind the Greeks – but the hedge funders will be wealthy. There are more public sector union members than private sector – and they get defined pension benefits even if taxpayers don’t (unless you consider Social Security OUR defined benefit plan) our legislature fiddles with resolutions and leadership fights and California Demo Congressional members are leading the way to undo the redistricting effort.We are fracked.

    Reply this comment
  6. lynn
    lynn 24 March, 2010, 06:01

    CALIFORNIA WAKE UP. Going green will kill jobs, small business, you will not be able to move without paying another (fee) tax. More government control. That is not the answer!!!!

    Reply this comment

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