Is pro-business faction emerging among CA Dem lawmakers?

Is pro-business faction emerging among CA Dem lawmakers?

ccarb_logoFor years, both the California Air Resources Board and the California Democratic Party have peddled the absurd fiction that there is no economic downside to AB 32 forcing the entire state to shift to cleaner but much costlier forms of energy.

It’s awfully easy to be green and consider yourself both smart and morally superior when you think green policies won’t hit your family in the pocketbook.

But now that it’s become clear that gasoline prices will go up sharply because of AB 32’s key provision — the cap-and-trade program in which companies trade pollution rights — the Democratic consensus in the Legislature has been destroyed.

That 16 Assembly Democrats signed a letter warning that cap-and-trade shouldn’t push gas prices higher means that a majority of the Assembly is on record as objecting to AB 32’s central objective — forcing Californians to turn away from fossil fuels.

The air board minimizes the AB 32 hit on gas prices as being “only” 10 to 20 cents per gallon. But for two years, AB 32 aficionados have pointed out that’s not what a well-regarded state consultant believes.  In 2012, the Boston Consulting Group predicted gas prices in California would go up 43 cents to $1.59 per gallon due to cap and trade,

An a la carte objection — or beginning of a revolution?

Now the question is whether this is just an a la carte objection to California’s green orthodoxy — or if California Democrats are finally going to become more like Dems in America’s other megastates of Texas, Florida and New York.

I’ve been pointing out the following for years:

In Austin, there are plenty of Dems who want to help Texas’ energy, export-import and ranching industries. In Tallahassee, there are plenty of Dems who want to help Florida’s tourism and international trade industries. In Albany, there are plenty of Dems who want to help New York’s financial, ag and tech industries.

That’s from my Calwhine whining in 2012.

This  emerging Dem disillusionment with green-energy policies precisely mirrors what’s happened in Europe, where many nations are rolling back renewable-energy policies or trying to untangle policies that have had vast unintended consequences.

Eventually, California Democrats who don’t represent the whiter parts of the Bay Area and Los Angeles County are going to realize their constituents are hurt by air board control of economic regulation.

Or at least that’s what we have to hope if we want California to lose its status as most impoverished state any time soon.



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