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.

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