CA global warming is big business for government

April 24, 2013

By Katy Grimes


Just when Californians thought implementation of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act couldn’t get any worse, it is.

AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and SB 375, the sustainable communities companion bill enacted in 2008, both are under implementation by the California Air Resources Board. But CARB has taken a great deal of liberty, particularly with its interpretation of AB 32.

CARB devised a cap-and-trade system whereby it holds a quarterly auction program “requiring many California employers to bid significant amounts of money for the privilege of continuing to emit carbon dioxide — or be faced with closing their doors in California, laying off their employees, and moving their businesses to other states,” the Pacific Legal Foundation recently said.

The PLF ought to know. They are suing CARB over its cap-and-trade scheme, calling it an “unconstitutional state tax.”

Now, using the guise of AB 32 and SB 375 implementation, a new bill would assist the cap-and-trade program by directing the hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues into the “Sustainable Communities Infrastructure Program.” However, AB 574 by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, also is about justifying the the cap-and-trade tax revenues for use on the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

While Democrats may hold a supermajority in the Legislature, Lowenthal got an earful from Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno, in the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday. (Video here)

Money to blow

If AB 574 is passed, Californians could expect to see a jump in the size of the massive state bureaucracy. This would allow for even more government waste, and the state would be exposed to substantial legal liability by improperly, and possibly illegally, authorizing the use of cap-and-trade revenue for high-speed rail.

Assemblyman Patterson lit into the bill with a directness rarely seen in California politics. “Are cap-and-trade funds going to be used for high-speed rail?” he asked Lowenthal.

But Lowenthal did not answer Patterson, and instead deferred to Jim Earp with the California Alliance for Jobs, the sponsor of AB 574. CAJ is a big supporter of public infrastructure and represents 80,000 union construction workers in the state.

“They could be used for rail modernization… yes, for high-speed rail,” Earp said.

Patterson asked Lowenthal and Earp if they or anyone had addressed the concerns the Legislative Analyst’s Office expressed over the use of the cap-and-trade auction revenues. But Earp insisted that the cap-and-trade revenues would have to pass intense scrutiny before anything was spent.

Patterson was not satisfied. “While high-speed rail could in the long run help reduce greenhouse gasses, not by 2020,” he said.

“I believe high-speed rail could support that,” Earp said.

“I want to know the justification and rationale for supporting this bill,” Patterson said. But he got no justification.

Patterson was referring to the LAO report, which found that construction of the massive rail project would actually increase carbon emissions. The LAO found that, because reducing greenhouse gases is not the primary purpose of high-speed rail, it would be difficult to justify how the cap-and-trade revenues could be used to pay the large capital costs, when it is not the reason why the rail system is even being built.

Transportation and sustainability

“For cities to remain habitable, profound changes need to occur both in cities themselves and in the ways they impact the surrounding landscapes and hinterlands,” the UCLA Center for Sustainable Communities claims. The center’s main research themes include:

* “Integrated social-biophysical research on human environmental interactions and their impacts and feedback loops.

* “Social justice and urban environmental sustainability through revitalizing and renaturalizing the urban environment.

* “Research and analysis of systems of governance and government for democratic accountability and greater sustainability.”

AB 574 establishes the statutory framework to be able to spend cap-and-trade auction revenues on sustainable communities plans. The Strategic Growth Council, only created in 2008, and the California Transportation Commission, in conjunction with CARB, will be charged with establishing the standards for the use of the cap-and-trade tax revenues.

Lowenthal told the committee that Sustainable Communities Strategies would create:

* “Livable Communities — Funding to increase transit mode share through focused transit expansion and ridership programs, transit-oriented development, and complete streets investment.

* “Rail Modernization — Infrastructure investments in high-speed rail, conventional passenger rail, and local mass transit that maximize system integration and increase rail and transit trips.

* “Infrastructure — Funding for infrastructure for smooth/GHG pavements, complete streets, ramp meters/traffic management.

* “Active Transportation – increasing bike and pedestrian trips and associated infrastructure.”

And CARB has indicated that 25 percent of these funds will be used to benefit disadvantaged communities.

But this is merely loosely worded language to allow the money go to “rail modernization,” as well as local transportation projects. And the only “rail modernization” taking place in California is the $68 billion high-speed rail scheme.

What is AB 32 and cap and trade?

AB 32 established the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide to 1990 levels by 2020. Ostensibly, in order to achieve this goal, CARB implemented regulations to establish a cap-and-trade program that places a “cap” on aggregate greenhouse gas emissions from businesses and utilities, which CARB says are responsible for most of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

CARB issues carbon allowances and businesses are required to buy or sell these in the open market.

CARB has already conducted two quarterly cap-and-trade auctions, in November and March. Allowances were purchased by the regulated businesses in order to be allowed to continue doing business in the state. The LAO estimates roughly $660 million to upwards of $3 billion will be generated by the early auctions, and in the tens of billions of dollars over subsequent years.

This is the money Lowenthal wants funneled to transportation projects and sustainable community programs.

Authorizing the use of cap-and-trade revenue for high-speed rail could expose the state to legal liability, particularly if the Pacific Legal Foundation lawsuit against the CARB prevails.

‘Sustainable Communities’: Is this government housing?

Opponents of AB 574 say the Legislature cannot fund a program designed to dictate where Californians live, where they work, and how they travel. Nor should all Californians be forced to live in urban high-density developments, and be forced to use public transit, as the sustainable communities programs dictate.

This is government at its worst. This is central planning, which will force citizens into a government-sanctioned lifestyle incompatible with a free market economy. This is a fundamental threat to liberty. Yet this is what AB 32 and SB 375 really were about.


Write a comment
  1. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 24 April, 2013, 10:46

    Katy— Global warming is a scam– we can dump all the carbon we want into the biosphere– the overwhelming number of climate scientists are wrong…..there there….mmmm….tut tut……..shuffle on back to your cubicle.

    Reply this comment
  2. fish
    fish 24 April, 2013, 11:38


    I say Ted….I say Ted there you go again with all your high falutin science words.

    Your trying…I get it…and at least it’s not nearly as embarrassing as when you post stuff like…“I am glad I live in a Country where law enforcement and the civilian authority agrees with me and is doing 110% on the quiet intel required. Teddy Steele Security Consultant…….. ooooooh!

    Teddy you gots to learn to keep your secret agent stuff on “the down low” else you’ll blow your cover.

    Reply this comment
  3. Hondo
    Hondo 24 April, 2013, 13:06

    Those same scientists admit to ‘hiding the decline’.

    Reply this comment
  4. double l
    double l 24 April, 2013, 15:32

    Go Jim go, we need more of your ilk in Sacto.

    Reply this comment
  5. I'mjustsayin'...
    I'mjustsayin'... 24 April, 2013, 15:37

    nice work Katy…tomorrow is CARB’s big day to discuss where to spend the rest of the money…guess all the others will be coming out in droves with their hands out.

    Reply this comment
  6. Just put the lobbyists on the committee
    Just put the lobbyists on the committee 24 April, 2013, 16:49

    California Alliance for Jobs was the top donor to the campaign to pass the California High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century.

    Reply this comment
  7. dltravers
    dltravers 24 April, 2013, 16:57

    Are the states legislators going to give up their state vehicles? Strike that, Gov Moonbeam will. The money washes from one hand to the other with the government in the middle predicting what the weather will be like 100 years from now.

    Makes plenty of sense to me.

    Reply this comment
  8. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 24 April, 2013, 18:43

    Ted, what you exhale should be taxed… according to the state of California.

    And remember, the only scientists who falsified scientific studies to “prove” the existence of man-made global warming were receiving government grants. They were paid to falsify their work in order to keep the govt. funding coming in.

    That you bought it shows your agenda as well.


    Reply this comment
  9. Paul Preston
    Paul Preston 25 April, 2013, 05:13

    Well said Katie!!

    Reply this comment
  10. Hondo
    Hondo 25 April, 2013, 09:23

    Teddy is so full of it his eyes are brown. So what he is ‘exhaling’ ain’t CO2. Just don’t let it hit the fan.

    Reply this comment
  11. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 25 April, 2013, 10:12

    LOL Katy— My agenda?

    What’s that? Am I making money of the crisis? Or even making a sort of living or reputation writing about it AS YOU DO?

    No– I am just a college educated schmo who can see that the vast vast vast majority of PhD level climate folks have solid opinions based on settled science. I am a schmo like you Katy, except without the bias.

    Your Servant,


    Reply this comment
  12. fish
    fish 25 April, 2013, 10:40

    Am I making money of the crisis?

    Oh Teddy….I could respect you so much more if you were… it stands now your merely a “useful idiot”.



    Reply this comment
  13. Rodney Spooner
    Rodney Spooner 25 April, 2013, 11:52

    The eco-maniacs would have you believe that “Global Warming”, “Climate Change”, “Climate Chaos”, or whatever they call it today, is man-made. I was a denier until I learned the truth that it is TRUE! (But NOT the way the eco-maniacs want you to believe.)

    Go to and learn how scientists and the military are trying to command and control the global weather and the consequences of doing so.

    Share it with EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

    Reply this comment
  14. Donkey
    Donkey 25 April, 2013, 16:05

    This new found source of money, as lonf as it lasts, will go to pensions before it is used for any infastrcture!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  15. The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System
    The Africanized Swarm of Ted Steele System 25 April, 2013, 19:36

    Poor BFF Fishlips— can’t think of his own material!


    Reply this comment
  16. fish
    fish 25 April, 2013, 20:01

    Poor BFF Fishlips— can’t think of his own material!


    Reply this comment
  17. warren duffy
    warren duffy 26 April, 2013, 09:31

    The science is never settled. The nature of true science has been cleverly avoided by the silly-science the enviro-bozos have been pumping out for the last 43 years since the first Earth Day and the coming Ice Age, remember? Let’s face it, nobody likes to admit, “I trusted Bernie Maddoff and I got scammed.” The whole world trusted the silly-science pumped out by the UN’s IPPC until we hacked their emails and found out they were cooking the books for two decades. Now, word is leaking out, California has entered the era of Sacramento environmental justice and government wealth redistribution which has absolutely nothing to do with climate change, with green house gases, sustainability or any of the other poorly defined terms we’ve come to expect from the Gore-ites. Keep us informed, Katie. The TV newsreaders refuse to. Haven’t heard a word about CA cap and trade since forever, has anyone?

    Reply this comment
  18. Susan Bailey
    Susan Bailey 5 May, 2013, 22:37

    The whole ‘global/warming’ thing has always been nothing more than a revenue-raising scam, nowhere more so than in Australia – land of political thieves, liars and ripoffs.

    It’s a bit like the new age’s ‘ascension’ crap that came to exactly nothing last December…only this is worse because it’s robbing people of their hard earned cash so politicians can live in luxury, the sycophantic leaches.

    Why don’t we just get rid of politicians, governments and idiotic royalty so the world can live and breathe and enjoy the fruits of their labor without always being choked to death?

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

CA 2014 fire season: A test of government competence

The two worst wildfires in recorded state history struck San Diego County in 2003 and 2007, as I wrote about

Direct democracy abuses: Both parties have dirty hands

Over the past 14 months, San Diego voters have repudiated the decisions of the Democratic majority on the City Council

Using soldiers as props

Jan. 15, 2010 By now most people are probably tired of hearing about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Jan. 6 State of