by CalWatchdog Staff | October 31, 2012 8:48 am
October 31, 2012
By Katy Grimes
As California voters prepare to square off with several tax increase measures on next Tuesday’s ballot, the fate of California balances on a precarious cliff. But it’s not just the tax increases which could push the state over the cliff… that’s just part one.
The California Air Resources Board is a nefarious beast of a state agency which most people have not even heard of. It is filled with those iniquitous unelected state officials and bureaucrats we hear about, who always remain faceless and nameless. But they are a dangerous bunch.
When the Legislature passed AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a new era of government control and expansion was ushered in. CARB was given the authority to create strict new environmental controls over every aspect of of the lives of California residents, business and commerce.
As a result of AB 32, CARB was given the authority to create a regulation to reduce passenger car greenhouse gas emissions. But they didn’t stop there.
CARB developed strict diesel regulations; California truckers were forced to purchase new trucks at a cost of $50,000 to $60,000 more; and new passenger auto regulations are about to be ushered in.
CARB went to work developing a cap and trade program. While the rest of the country was shelving cap and trade programs and backing off of selling carbon allowances to businesses because of the drastic national economic downturn, CARB forged ahead recklessly and stubbornly.
California businesses will be forced to purchase carbon credits from CARB in order to keep doing business in California. When all is said and done, it is an environmental tax on business. Even the Legislative Analyst’s Office told the governor that cap and trade is not needed to lower greenhouse gas emissions in California.
Despite pleas from California’s diverse business and industry sector to postpone the auction indefinitely, CARB appears to be determined to conduct the first auction right after the election.
“As part of the California cap-and-trade program, CARB will hold allowance auctions and reserve sales to allow market participants to acquire allowances directly from ARB,” the CARB website says.
CARB plans to conduct the first quarterly carbon auction on November 14.
“We had expectations that at the September California Air Resources Board meeting CARB Chairwoman, Mary Nichols, would recognize that developing a regulation rule change that offered regulated stakeholders 100 percent free allowance allocations would create a win-win situation for the state’s cap-and-trade market program,” the AB 32 Implementation Group reported.
“At that meeting Chairwoman Nichols did not contemplate any changes, except for carving out a few regulated industries while ignoring the pleas of hundreds of others. Conducting the November 14th cap-and-trade auction without the benefit of 100 percent allowance allocations is going to have a grave and destructive effect on California’s regulated businesses, other business that will see and dramatic increase in their operating and energy costs and finally, most importantly, all of California’s consumers.
“Now, our only course of action is to appeal to Governor Brown,” the AB 32 Implementation Group said.
That about sums it up. California businesses are facing the final nail in the coffin should this auction go forth.
Why should anyone care? The answer will be found in higher prices for everything made, grown and manufactured in California.
The cap and trade program is not about clean air or conserving California’s natural resources. CARB has turned AB 32 implementation into a tax on businesses and consumers. Cap and trade tax will make Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax increase initiative look like a gift to taxpayers.
Rumors are discretely being whispered around the Capitol that Brown may wait until after next Tuesday’s Presidential election to announce that the CARB cap and trade auction is off.
Then again, he may act like Jerry Brown and stubbornly allow it to take place, potentially sealing California’s financial fate, unless a new presidential administration steps in and stops CARB.
Brown is a political survivor and may see the handwriting on the wall should Mitt Romney win the election.
There is a national feeling of loathing toward California because of the ridiculous liberal policies implemented over the last 50 years of Democratic rule in the state. While California used to be a national leader and trend setter, the only trend the state is setting right now is how fast Democratic policies can destroy the economy.
Can Brown be persuaded to to postpone the auction? Californians Against Higher Taxes has a video that should convince everyone, including the governor:
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