The world according to CARB

May 18, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Recently, a memo sent out by the California Air Resources Board referred to the industries CARB has identified as polluters as California’s “regulated class.” These polluters are now subject to the heavy-handed rule and regulation of the agency, and must accept the new costs of doing business in California, in the ugly world according to CARB.

This sounds like the Soviet Union, not California.

Junky Science

Currently, thousands of independent truckers and tow-truck drivers are losing their businesses because of the baseless diesel regulations created by CARB. Even after the exposure of the CARB employee with fraudulent credentials, CARB forged ahead with the impossible diesel regulations.

Hien T. Tran, who published the damning data finding that diesel emissions cause premature deaths, was the lead scientist who wrote the report, “Methodology for Estimating Premature Deaths Associated with Long-term Exposures to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California, on which the heavy duty truck and bus regulations are based. But, it was revealed that Tran had purchased a mail order Ph.D. from Thornhill University, which is apparently  nothing more than a box in a UPS store in New York City.

CARB’s director, Mary Nichols, knew of the fraud before voting on the controversial regulation.

And it was reported that other board members knew about Tran’s phony credentials, but withheld the information from other board members for nearly a year after the highly controversial vote.  The attorney general at the time, current Gov. Jerry Brown, was also notified, and chose not to take action.

CARB promoted Tran, and gave him a $1,006.00 a month raise.

The world according to CARB

Despite massive credibility problems, fraudulent data and a business-killing agenda driven by massive ego, CARB continues to move ahead with the upcoming cap and trade auction, conveniently postponed from August until after the November election.

CARB is already counting the windfall cap and trade revenue, and making plans on how to spend it. On May 24, CARB will hold a “workshop” about the anticipated revenues from the upcoming cap and trade auction, and how to spend this windfall of money.

The notice from CARB states,

“The first panel will examine how California can effectively invest the auction funds to meet the goals of Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) including support of long-term, transformative efforts to improve public health and develop a clean energy economy.

“The second panel will discuss what criteria should be prioritized in the development of an investment plan, and why.”

CARB also claims, “The public is invited to share ideas on either or both of these questions at the meeting, or to submit written comments by June 22, 2012.”

But there is a little problem with this. CARB is not accepting any public comments or questions until after the May 24 meeting.  On CARB’s website, the notice for the meeting agenda states, “Submit Comments (available after meeting).”

But as with all public CARB meetings, this isn’t really about “transparency,” or even informing the public. CARB is merely checking the boxes on its honey-do list, in preparation for the thorough bilking of California businesses and taxpayers.

As with most government entities in this state, CARB sort of wants California residents to think it is going through proper channels.

Politics makes strange bedfellows

In March, a lawsuit was filed by the Citizens Climate Lobby and Our Children’s Earth Foundation against the California Air Resources board.  The suit challenges the integrity of the carbon offset system, and states, “If a polluter wants to emit more greenhouse gases than it has been given (by CARB), or bought in allowances, then it can use offsets, for up to 8 percent of its total emissions. AB 32 requires that all reductions be real, additional, quantifiable and enforceable.”

In other words, the Citizens Climate Lobby thinks that CARB is not following AB 32 closely enough, and is just going to get rich instead on carbon credit auctions instead of demanding that residents dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

The lawsuit contends that allowing the purchase of carbon offset credits fails to meet the two statutory requirements of AB 32:

1) Any “greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved are real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, and enforceable by the state board”; and

2) Any such “reduction is in addition to any greenhouse gas emission reduction otherwise required by law or regulation, and any other greenhouse gas emission reduction that otherwise would occur.”

A press release about the lawsuit states:

“Offsets, on the other hand, are imaginary commodities based upon guesses about what would have happened in their absence. The suit, filed in the California Superior Court in San Francisco, argues that the offset protocols and regulations violate the statutory standards because they lack a reliable way to distinguish what has happen because of the offset payments versus what would have happened anyway. In addition, the lawsuit claims that many activities that are already ongoing would qualify as offsets under the recently approved regulations.  As a result, the use of these offsets would allow a false accounting of California’s progress in fighting climate change.”

In the memo about the workshop, CARB states, “Strategic investment of auction funds can further the purposes of AB 32 and deliver long-term economic, environmental, and clean energy benefits.” But this statement is without any merit, since California is the first, and now only, state in the country to push climate change laws on its citizens.

CARB has promised its actions will lead to a prosperous new green economy. So far, that has failed to materialize and instead helped to turn California into a national leader in high unemployment.

The rogue state agency has abused its power by levying millions of dollars in disproportionate fines on business owners who have not violated existing laws, or who have committed only minor technical oversights. The agency has already implemented legally questionable policies, which infringe on constitutional rights. And even though the Legislature passed AB 32, many believe it is also unconstitutional.

Californians should fear the state Legislature which implemented a massive, unelected and unaccountable statist bureaucracy, and whose actions have killed businesses and jobs and irreparably hurt the state economy.

Cap and trade is much bigger than anyone realizes. AB 32 legally mandates the government enter our homes, businesses and utilities, and regulate however it wants. AB 32 granted CARB powers unimagined in this country. Implementing Cap and Trade is just CARB dipping its big toe into the water to see how far the agency will be allowed to go.

CARB needs to be stopped. The bureaucracy and potential for control over California citizens makes high-speed rail look like a toy train.

3 comments

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  1. Ronald Stein
    Ronald Stein 22 May, 2012, 08:05

    CARB’s Fuels Policies are Throwing California’s Economy Under the Bus

    In the last 20 years, Southern California’s population has doubled, but the air quality has gotten BETTER, not worse. New rules by government bureaucrats, however, are coming into play that will increase the costs of electricity, gasoline, roads, homes, services, you name it, for literally no significant betterment of air quality, but rather for the politics of science’s latest fad: so-called global warming caused by greenhouse gas. The same greenhouse gas you exhale every day!

    Californians already pay among already the steepest prices in the nation for gasoline. A good deal of this is due to the state’s mandatory unique gasoline formula and combined taxes at the pump which are the country’s second highest.

    Now, new actions by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are poised to drive those costs even higher.

    The agency’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which would require significantly increased use of alternative fuels while dictating reduction in the use of reliable, affordable conventional fuels, is likely to cost consumers billions, according to the California Energy Commission. The Commission also expressed doubt over the existence, availability and cost of the mandated alternative fuels and, perhaps more importantly, over the plausibility of CARB’s assumptions.

    Then there’s Cap and Trade, a cornerstone of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. Projections place the cost of cap and trade at anywhere from 50 cents to one dollar per gallon added to the retail price of gasoline here just for the 37 million in CA, for a go-it-alone State that contributes less than 1% of the GHG’s being emitted into the worlds atmosphere, and billions in increased general energy costs.

    Most recently, CARB adopted a package of “Clean Car” regulations that requires automakers to put 1.4 million hybrids, electric and fuel cell vehicles on the road. The rules also mandate the installation of fueling stations for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, at a cost CARB staff estimates at up to $2 million apiece.

    To put this in perspective, there are virtually no hydrogen vehicles on the road today, and CARB’s most optimistic projection estimates those cars will comprise less than two percent of all vehicles in the state by 2017.

    With the expectation everyone had a zero emissions vehicle and we used no transportation fuels, how do we replace over $5 billion annually to the California Transportation Fund that is currently being paid by taxes on our transportation fuels? Well the answer is ANOTHER TAX: Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is aware of lost gas tax for roads/bridges/Highway Trust Fund – they are proposing by 2020 a Vehicle Mile Travel (VMT) type of tax.

    Here are the inconvenient truths: Due not in small part to CARB’s incremental actions over the years, vehicles and fuels in California are already the cleanest in the world. That has come at a cost, as evidenced by the higher vehicle costs and overall energy costs in our state.

    Now, under cover of AB 32, CARB is forcing billions of dollars in higher costs on our struggling economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with global warming.

    The problem is that California and its 37 million citizens contribute less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gases. Solving a world GHG problem is not the responsibility of the few that live in California. Maybe China and India with 2.4 BILLION contributors may be, but not California’s 37 million.
    Recent and pending laws will add an energy tax on those that contribute 1% of the worlds’ GHGs, while the other 99% of the world will have an overwhelming economic advantage over California businesses and consumers.

    CARB touts California’s “leadership” in the war on climate change. The “leadership” premise is similar to crossing the street within the confines of the crosswalk and getting hit by a bus – you’re right, but “DEAD RIGHT!”

    Those who feel that spending billions to reduce greenhouse gases in a State that contributes less than 1% of the world’s GHG’s may be right, but they are dead right as it accelerates the exodus of businesses and jobs from California, and an unemployment rate that consistently remains among the highest in the country.

    With California transportation fuels already among the country’s most expensive and our gas taxes the second highest in the USA, it’s impossible to justify the imposition of billions in higher fuel costs just to retain the title of “leader” in greenhouse gas reductions.

    CARB would do well to get out of the crosswalk and stop throwing California’s economy further under the bus.

    Reply this comment
  2. bobaran
    bobaran 23 May, 2012, 09:58

    The ALGORE Psalm

    ALGORE is my shepherd; I shall not think.
    He maketh me lie down with green fascists:
    He leadeth me beside the still-freezing waters.
    He selleth my soul:
    He leadeth me in the paths of self-righteousness for his own sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of reason,
    I will fear no logic: for thou art with me;
    Thy family oil fortune and thy 10,000 square foot home, they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a movie in the presence of contradictory evidence:
    Thou anointest mine head with nonsense; my fear runneth over.
    Surely blind faith and hysteria shall follow me all the days of my life:
    and I will dwell in the house of ALGORE forever.

    Reply this comment

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