Four years later, media still spreading the AB 32 Kool-Aid

Nov. 12

By Chris Reed

In the Bush 43 era, some pundits on the left took to decrying the media practice of treating quotes from the White House with the same respect as quotes from its critics. They said this “false equivalence” allowed alleged Bush lies about Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., to circulate without proper skepticism.

What about how the California media deal with AB 32? The fact is the peer group of environmental economists hired years ago to review AB 32’s “scoping plan” for the most part scorned its claim that forcing a switch to cleaner-but-costlier energy would have little or no effect on the economy. The leading critic was Harvard’s Robert Stavins, arguably the world’s leading environmental economist.

But in the Golden State, we still see stories like this morning’s garbage from David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle, with the same old false equivalance.

“Studies of the cap-and-trade system’s potential impact tend to reflect the views of those who commissioned them.”

As I wrote last month, The New York Times knows the truth about AB 32: namely, that it is a huge risk.

But the N.Y. Times also wrote this:

“Opponents and supporters alike worry that the program could hurt the state’s fragile economy by driving out refineries, cement makers, glass factories and other businesses.”

No they don’t. Instead, David R. Baker and dozens of other reporters around this state somehow can’t grasp the idea that forcing California business to spend more for energy that other rival states and nations hurts California’s competitiveness in the most fundamental way.

Duh. At least they are consistent. They’ve been doing this for years.

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