Polluters Welcome In CA?

Katy Grimes: The California Air Resources Board will be giving away free carbon permits to big oil companies, according to a story published today in Business Week. The story reports that oil companies Shell and Conoco Phillips, would be among some companies to get “free pollution rights” under California’s cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This means they will essentially be exempted from AB 32’s requirements to reduce carbon emissions.

The Air Resources Board is supposed to release the “rules” for the cap-and-trade plan tomorrow — just four days before the election — and will undoubtedly influence the outcome of Proposition 23, which would suspend AB 32 until unemployment in the state drops below 5.5 percent.

Business Week reported, “Most of the carbon permits will be given away by CARB when the program starts in 2012,” as part of a “gradual approach” to carbon reductions. The free carbon dioxide permits will be phased out by 2020.

Let me get this straight – CARB will be giving away freebie carbon permits to big oil companies? Isn’t that just a little hypocritical and in direct conflict with the implementation of AB 32 policy as well as the many “NO on Prop 23” ads currently running on television showing burning smoke stacks and oil spills?

The NO on Prop 23 campaign states, “California passed a clean air law (AB 32) that holds polluters accountable and requires them to reduce air pollution that threatens human health and contributes to global climate change. This law has launched California to the forefront of the clean technology industry, sparking innovation and clean energy businesses that are creating hundreds of thousands of new California jobs.”

Is this the softer side of CARB, or the side that wants to win at any cost?

Be sure to Calculate your carbon footprint on CARB’s website.

OCT 28, 2010

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