Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

California State Capital in Sacramento

California State Capital in Sacramento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest post by Lorraine Yapps Cohen

California Air Resources Board (CARB) met on Thursday, May 24.  On the agenda was discussion toward deciding where and how to spend the billions raised from cap-and-trade carbon trading in the state.

At the public meeting was Betty Plowman, who attended the meeting to present a letter on behalf of the industries that CARB calls polluters, the California Construction Trucking Association (CCTA) and California Dump Truck Owners Association.  The letter describes CARB’s threats to these industries, induced by the Board’s regulations that are, in turn, based on junk science.  The letter’s signatories indicate intention to seek reparations for the regulated class under CARB’s repression in California.

CARB Chairman Mary Nichols let the clock conduct the agenda and closed the meeting at 5 p.m. before Plowman could present the letter. The world according to CARB disallows any…

View original 832 more words

California counting its carbon tax riches

Katy Grimes writing at CalWatchDog:

While the rest of the country shuns carbon trading schemes, California politicians continue to embrace the concept, and are forging ahead with a Cap and Trade carbon trading system. But eight states have dropped out of California’s Western Climate Initiative, leaving many scratching their heads in wonderment, as only California and Quebec are left alone to solve the world’s global warming and climate change issues.

But instead of being a real innovator and helping businesses sincerely lower emissions, California looks as if it is desperately clinging onto the notion that we can lead the rest of the world in controlling climate change, and behaving as a Nation State.

Why Quebec?

Cap and Trade was first concocted by the United Nations as a way to financially benefit from selling carbon offset credits. Vice-President Al Gore was already part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which helped seal the deal in the 1990′s through the Clinton administration’s involvement in the Kyoto Protocol, which mandated that nations reduce or offset carbon emissions.

This scheme must have been irresistible to the California Legislature, which passed AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, in 2006. The original plan was to create a giant climate change coalition with other states and provinces from which carbon trading and taxing would emanate. But one by one, states have dropped out, citing the difficult economy and cost to manage such a program.
But not California.

“Linking with Québec is a significant advance in California’s efforts to fight climate change and steer our economy toward a clean energy future,” said CARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “Linking provides more options to California businesses and lays the groundwork for other partners to join with us. This sends a strong message to two national governments that now is the time to support innovation, energy efficiency and the development of clean technologies.”

But Quebec is not even a trading partner with California.

Only in California. No, only in a California run by ultra liberals.

Read the rest of Katy’s article HERE

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Thousands Petition Gov. Brown To End Cap And Trade

By Amy Quinton, California Capitol Network

Californians Against Higher Taxes and business groups delivered the petitions against
what they call an illegal and hidden energy tax. The cap and trade program would
limit greenhouse gas emissions by requiring polluters to purchase pollution credits
at auction.

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Public Thugs Mug Facebook – Could Kill Jobs?

Russ Steele

I often read the Coyote Blog, Dispatches from a Small Business. Here is some interesting insight as to why job creation in CA is static.

Wow, I Wonder Why Job Creation Isn’t Occurring in California?

I wonder if its because companies have to beg for government permission, and then pay a hefty bribe, to get permission to hire more employees:

The city council in Menlo Park, Calif., is set to approve a deal that will let Facebook employ thousands more people at its headquarters there.

Mayor Kirsten Keith says officials are expected to green light the environmental impact report and the development agreement at a meeting Tuesday night. City staff has recommended the city approve the deal.

That means Facebook employees, currently numbering about 2,200 in Menlo Park, will soon be able to stretch out. If the deal is approved, Facebook will be able to employ about 6,600 workers in Menlo Park, up from its current limit of 3,600. That was the constraint on Sun Microsystems, which previously occupied the campus.

Facebook will pay Menlo Park an average of $850,000 a year over 10 years to compensate for the additional load on the city. It will also make a one-time payment of more than $1 million for capital improvements and set up community services such as high school internship and job training programs. Facebook is also creating a $500,000 local community fund that will dole out grants and charitable contributions to communities surrounding Facebook’s campus.

Facebook is making the payments because Menlo Park can’t collect sales taxes from Facebook.

The last is a dodge – this is a protection racket, pure and simple.  Presumably Facebook pays property taxes on its corporate offices, as do its employees who live nearby.  Also, these new employees will all spend money in the local economy that will generate sales taxes.  Facebook presumably pays for water, sewer, trash and other utilities, and their employees are paying gas taxes as they drive that pay for the roads.  Facebook pays California income taxes, as do their employees.  What are these mystery costs that are not getting covered?  The community services bit is a hint that this is a stick-up, with Menlo Park demanding its cut of the recent IPO.

The truth is that cities and counties in California see business expansion plans the same way that Tony Soprano looks at the Museum of Science and Trucking — as a way to maximize their skim.  I operate a campground in Ventura County that DOES pay sales taxes the County so far will not let me increase my live-in staff without making a big payment.  Even the remodeling of our store required 7 separate checks written to Ventura County agencies.

You can read the rest HERE. Reason Magazine has another story about killing jobs in Ventura County.

A Double AA Classic

From the Instapundit: Glenn Reynolds

Today, 7:16 PM

BUT THEN WHO WILL WRITE THE STORIES? AP wants to get prostitutes away from its DC bureau.

Another CA Business Escaping

Russ Steele

Just heard the news on Channel 13 KVOR, Verizon is moving its Rancho Cordova Call Center to Utah. The business exodus continues as the regulatory environment  continues to grow in California. Why wait for energy cost to go up, move before the California economic crash!

Wrangling for the AB-32 Cap and Trade Slush Fund

Russ Steele

As I have been reporting, AB-32 Cap and Trade was all about creating a tax payer supported slush fund, now our political leaders are trying to figure out how to take control of the AB-32 pig trough.

Details at KQEDz’ Climate Watch: The New Cap & Trade Battlefront: How to Spend the Revenues

AB 32 requires California’s largest emitters to meet carbon reduction targets. If a firm’s emissions are below state-mandated targets, it may auction off its remaining “allowances” to firms that exceeded their emissions targets.

Since the enactment of AB 32 in 2006, California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction law, analysts have speculated about how to spend the money generated from the law’s cap-and-trade carbon allowance auctions, the first of which is set for this November.

On Tuesday, the State Assembly passed new legislation, AB 1532, that narrowed the options. The bill, which the California Chamber of Commerce has described as a “job killer” and an “illegal tax,” passed 47-26 and awaits action in the Senate. If ratified, it would establish a “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account” within the state Air Pollution Control Fund and authorize spending auction proceeds on clean energy technology, low-carbon transportation, conservation and green energy research and development.

On Friday, the California Air Resources Board held a public hearing to discuss where auction funds might be spent, as a panel of speakers from across the state and country — representing a broad array of industries and interests — sounded off on where this sizable stream of new funding might be best directed.

Jim Earp, executive director of the California Alliance for Jobs, said that the funds should be spent on improvement of transit networks and infrastructure. Ellen Hanak, a fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, suggested that a best fit is renewable energy and efficiency projects. Lester Snow, director of the California Water Foundation (and former head of Water Resources for the state), pointed to habitat restoration on the Delta and making California’s vast, energy-intensive water delivery systems more efficient.

The governor’s 2012-13 budget [PDF] also lays out a general framework for where cap-and-trade auction funds might be allocated.

    • Clean and efficient energy
    • Low carbon transportation
    • Natural resources protection
    • Sustainable infrastructure development

“These are obviously broad categories,” said air board chair Mary Nichols of the governor’s proposals in her remarks. “No one has yet suggested any precise breakdown or amounts of money to go to specific programs.”

Decisions are being made piecemeal. For instance, revenues from utilities will be returned to electricity customers, though exactly how is still being worked out.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that no one yet knows how California’s auction funds will be spent. There is still debate over whether the funds should be considered a fee or a tax — a legal determination that, under Proposition 26, could potentially limit where money is directed.

And as Climate Watch senior editor Craig Miller reported earlier this month, no one can predict with any certainty at what price carbon will trade in the California market. Most estimates put the figure at between $15 and $30 per metric ton, which means that when the market is fully up to speed in 2015 it could pull in as much as $6 billion a year. (The governor’s budget stated the program could generate as much as $1 billion in its first year.)

As for how cap-and-trade might state boost the state’s economy, Nichols pointed to a recent analysis of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade system, which includes ten  states in the Northeast. That program has reportedly injected $1.6 billion into the regional economy through such measures as consumer bill reductions and sales of energy efficient equipment.

The period for public comment on carbon auction funds spending (click for online comment form) is open until June 22.

Let them know how you think they should spend the Cap  and Trade Slush Fund

I am shocked, I tell you, shocked

Russ Steele

Well not really, local bloggers  have been reporting for years the budgets coming out of Sacramento are bogus.  Now Katy Grimes writing at Cal Watchdog reports CA debt much larger than reported

“Reports of California’s debt usually just include the $17 billion budget deficit. But California also owes the federal government $14 billion, and public schools $10 billion.

While California sputters under the massive debt, legislators continue to take up ridiculous bills and resolutions, and ignore bills which would begin necessary reforms.”

You can read the whole sad story of inept political leadership HERE. Rather than attempt to solve the budget problems, the Legislature continues to bring forward bills that are strangle the California economy.  The only way out of this mess is to fire up our economy. We have huge fossil fuel deposits on and off shore, and our political leaders insist on promoting higher cost alternative energy, driving business and jobs out of the state to lower cost states and off shore. Time to clean house in Sacramento.

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Russ Steele

We will hear a lot of word on this Memorial Day, but your actions could speak louder than all those words. Rather than honor our military once a year with speeches, join an organizations that supports the military and veterans year round like The Friends of Nevada County Military, American Legion, Marine Corp League, a VFW Chapter or Vietnam  Veterans of America and participate their programs. Make a difference by showing up and participating.

Yale Researcher – Ignore the Facts do What is Right for Society

.Russ Steele

I used to hold Yale University in high regard.  My father-in-law held a highly regarded chair and was a Yale Department Chairman until he retired. He was a conservative in a den of liberal, but held his own. It was through conversations with my father-in-law that I grew to appreciate Yale for the great institution it used to be. It was when Yale started engaging in AGW Group Think that I began to question their scientific reputation.

Anthony Watts has written a blog post highlighting a recent Yale University Study :  Apathy and the climate change divide – it isn’t about science literacy

The Yale study concludes public apathy over climate change is unrelated to science literacy. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. 

I found this most interesting:

Researcher Ellen Peters of Ohio State University said that people who are higher in numeracy and science literacy usually make better decisions in complex technical situations, but the study clearly casts doubt on the notion that the more you understand science and math, the better decisions you’ll make in complex and technical situations. “What this study shows is that people with high science and math comprehension can think their way to conclusions that are better for them as individuals but are not necessarily better for society.”   

It appears that the good professor wants intelligent educated people to stop accepting the scientific facts and just accept the warmer manta that humans are causing global warming. Put away your brain and just do what is best for society.  Right!

Well I have a message for the professors at Yale and Ohio State – Go Pound Sand. I have invested too much time reading, studying, calculating and doing my own research to chuck it all in now and just adopt your group think that humans have any control over the climate in Mother Natures backyard.

My advice for the folks at Yale this they should  be investing in some warm long johns and ladies wool knickers. In the northeast they  are going to be on the leading edge of the cold created by the next grand minimum.

Kids with Cell Phones: Record Your Socialist Teachers!

Russ Steele

Doug Giles at Townhall.com

God bless cell phones. With them we can chat with our friends; we can watch the grossest zit since the dawn of time being popped via YouTube; and our kiddos can record their bat crap crazy teachers attempting to mitigate their First Amendment rights!

The rest of the story is HERE.

We are at the of this school year, but next year I am interested in what our teachers are telling the students about global warming and how they respond when challenged with the facts.  Might be handy to have a cellphone at the ready.

California on the Edge

Russ Steele

Mark Meckler writing on his blog Across the Fence – The Return to Self Governance has  an impassioned plea on need to save California:  Is California Near the Edge of the Cliff? The simple answer: “Yes.” And my heart is breaking.

My heart is breaking for my home state of California.  Rational people who are still working to earn a living and live in the once great state of California are leaving, and looking to leave, in record numbers.  I was born and raised here.  I love the state.  The climate, and the geographical diversity cannot be beat.  It’s a stunningly beautiful place that offers something for everyone.  In addition to being a happy home for those of us born here, it has been a magnet for immigrants for many decades, offering opportunity like nowhere else.  But today, things are different.  My family has been looking to leave, along with a tide of hundreds of thousands of other productive citizens of the once “Golden State.”

California government (at both the state and local level) has managed to brew the perfect storm of insanity, and is committing slow motion societal suicide.  The brain, business and capital drain from California is taking place at a stunning pace.  The numbers back this up, as does the anecdotal evidence.  Ask anyone you know in California if they or people they know have considered leaving (or have left already), and you’ll find virtually no one who is untouched by the out migration issue.   So what’s driving this flow of our best, most hard working and brightest citizens to other states?  Well here’s just a sampling:

 Mark’s long list of why people are leaving CAlifornia is HERE.

Prop 23 Update: Socializing Your Power Bill

Russ Steele

Wayne Lusvardi writing at Cal Watchdog has the details on how the middle class will end up paying the lower classes water and power bills.  A stealthy way for the left to implement socialism in California.

The mere mention of the words Cap and Trade in California and people just tune out because it sounds too complicated to understand.   While it is complicated, it is nevertheless understandable.

What we’re learning about the California’s Cap and Trade program is that it is ending up as a giant government program to socialize the extraordinarily high rates that will be added to your electricity, natural gas and water bills from shifting to 33 percent green power in California by 2020.

Plans are in the works to include some form of rebate in your water and power bills for the higher cost of green power.  But it will be politically determined who gets larger or smaller rebates.  According to a report by the think tank Next 10, low-income and low-volume energy users are insulated by law against any energy increases in their utility bills due to the high cost of Green Power.  So it will be the middle class that ends up bearing the higher costs for green power for lower-income communities.

By socialized electricity rates is not meant the placing of power companies under government ownership or control.   What is meant is the spreading of higher energy costs from rebates by a formula to be politically determined.  Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, did not nationalize or socialize the means of producing electric power.  But it will be socializing or spreading the higher cost of green power to the middle class.

There could be some unintended consequences built in to this socialization of energy use.  With the middle class paying the lower class electric bills, the lower class maybe encouraged to increase their energy usage, someone else is paying the bill.  They may in fact believe that if they use more energy that they will receive more rebate. This would be counter CARBs goal of reducing energy use as the energy sector switches to wind and solar power.

Who would have thought it would be possible to use water and energy bills to kill the middle class and implement state wide socialism? Oh those crafty lefties in the State Legislature and their progressive thinking tank buddies. Right!

Over e-mail Transom: EPA Continues to Mandate Imaginary Biofuels

Russ Steele

This came from a regula reader:

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2012 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today denied the American Petroleum Institute’s (API’s) request to eliminate mandates for biofuels that do not exist, and the agency continues to fine refiners for not using them. 

“EPA’s mandate is out of touch with reality and forces refiners to pay a penalty for not using imaginary biofuels,” said API Director of Downstream and Industry Operations Bob Greco. “EPA’s unrealistic mandate is effectively an added tax on making gasoline.” 

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to determine the mandated volume of cellulosic biofuels each year at “the projected volume available.” However, in 2011 EPA required refineries to use 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels even though, according to EPA’s own records, none were commercially available. EPA today denied API’s 2011 petition for reconsideration of the mandate and continues to mandate these nonexistent biofuels this year. 

“The fact that EPA continues to mandate these biofuels that do not exist is regulatory absurdity and bad public policy,” Greco said.

The EPA Staff believes in magic!  If they think if they continue to mandate the use of bio-fuels, some one will make it happen.  Right, just like the ancient alchemist were mandated by the King to turn lead into gold. And, we know how well that turned out.

This reminds me of one of my first real encounters with staffers in Washington. I was working for TRW and we were creating intelligent vehicle systems for autos, anti-collision radars, in-vehicle information systems, satellite vehicle tracking and traffic management systems.  We came to Washington to meet with the leader of the House Transportation Committee Chairman to discuss the upcoming transportation appropriation bill and IVS funding in the bill.

We had an appointment, but he stiffed us, which gave us chance to chat with his staff.  They were highly educated, with advanced degrees from highly regarded eastern universities, but they were dumb as post when it came to knowledge of the western states and the challenges we face in the mountain and on the long stretches of highway that can vanished in the rear view mirror and over the dash is a straight line. It turned out the Chairman was from the CA, but none of his staff had every been west of the Mississippi River. These folk were writing legislation that had an impact on the western highways, who had never see or use a western highway.  They were blinded by ignorance.

I will be willing to bet the EPA staff is highly educated but have never been to a failed biofuel plant, to learn about the challenges that have to be overcome to produce biofuels in the quantities required. What can be done in the lab often does not scale up very well in the field.  So they sit dumb as cedar post behind their computer screens, unable to come to grips why their mandates are not producing results.

Thanks to a regular reader of this blog for the e-mail tip.

Prop 23 Update: EU Carbon Trading Is Over, CA Launching Carbon Trading

Russ Steele

While CARB plunges forward to implement cap and trade carbon trading in California the market for carbon in the EU has plunged to near zero due to the lack of demand.

Bavaria’s stock exchange will abandon its carbon emissions certificate trading operations in the EU-traded CO2 market on June 30 after volumes in Europe “plunged to practically zero” in recent months, it said on Tuesday. Reuters, 22 May 2012

When the Chicago Carbon Exchanged closed, a BBQ briquet was worth more than a ton of carbon. How can CARB be selling carbon at $30 a ton when the world market has collapsed? Only in the land of fruits and nuts.

 

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