Mary Nichols, Call Your Office: Court Blocks Your Wacko Low Carbon Fuel Standard

Russ Steele

Hat Tip to a regular reader for posting this breaking news in a comment.  Here is the Wall Street Journal Article:

California Low-Carbon Fuel Rules Halted

In a victory for refiners and ethanol producers, a federal judge halted enforcement of California’s low-carbon fuel rules Thursday, saying they discriminated against crude oil and ethanol imported 

The decision puts on hold a major portion of California’s effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, at a time when the most-populous state’s stance has taken on extra importance nationwide because of a stalemate in Washington over greenhouse-gas legislation.

The judge’s move means that refiners and ethanol producers, which previously could have been faced with having to buy credits when importing oil and ethanol into California to comply with the rules, will now be freed of those obligations.

Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno, rejected the state’s regulations, finding that California’s effort to control fuel imports infringed on Congress’s constitutional authority over interstate commerce.

Refiners and ethanol producers filed a lawsuit over the issue two years ago, arguing the rules penalize suppliers that use crude oil or ethanol from outside the state and would lead to higher costs for consumers.

Judge O’Neill hasn’t issued a final decision on the case, but on Thursday he barred California from enforcing the rules while the lawsuit continues.

In setting out the rules, the California Air Resources Board calculated a “carbon intensity” score for different types of fuel, favoring biofuels over carbon-heavy crude.

The rules also assign imported fuels a higher “carbon intensity” score, meaning suppliers that use them could be forced to buy credits to comply with the rules. California said those parts of the rule were justified because suppliers burn fuel and emit carbon when they transport fuels into the state.

Refiners applauded the decision to halt the regulations.  You can read the rest of the WSJ article HERE.

Not enough answers from CARB’s Mary Nichols

Russ Steele

I have posted before about Rep Darrell Issa’s probe of CARB and is secret role in help set the new fuel standards HERE.

Now Representative Issa, House Oversight Committee Chairman, is intensifying his probe into the California Air Resources Board and it’s role in negotiations that led to the tough new federal fuel economy standards.

Issa initially asked CARB 17 questions, which Mary Nichols at CARB answered, however the information provided so far by the state agency had some serious holes. Details in a story by the Press-Enterprise:

Though she provided responses to 17 questions related to the negotiations, Issa wants more information, and his committee staffers are drafting another request to be delivered to the air board before the end of the year.

Moore said the panel wants details about reports that those involved in the talks were asked to put nothing in writing and leak no part of the discussions to the news media. In her initial response, Nichols said no written documents were created to her knowledge but that she knew of no direction from Obama administration officials to refrain from doing so.

Issa also wants answers on why Nichols didn’t provide any documents related to negotiations with the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Moore said. Separate documentation shows that officials from the two agencies were involved in meetings on 116 occasions, Moore said.

It is getting tougher and tougher for CARB to lie it’s way out of the mess they have created, all to solve a non-existing problem.  When is it finally clear that humans have no control over the climate, or for that matter the weather, who will  hold these bureaucratic liars responsible for the damage they have done to our economy?

Prop 23 Update: AB32 will drive up food prices

Russ Steele

I spotted the paragraphs below in an article by Steven Greenhut in The City Journal:

. . . members of the California Assembly’s rural caucus and a California Air Resources Board member met with San Joaquin Valley food processors regarding implementation of AB 32, California’s anti-global-warming law. The law will impose a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions—something the assembled farmers and food processors said could put them out of business. Eventually all manufacturers will have to purchase emissions credits, but CARB is rolling out the program slowly to minimize damage to employers. Using typical bureaucratic language, CARB placed various industries into categories based on their risk of “leakage”—a euphemism for job losses. The food processors, who depend heavily on natural gas to dehydrate and can vegetables, were put in the “medium-leakage” category, to which they objected: they’ll have to pay for credits sooner than businesses in the high-leakage category. Because their products are traded globally, the food processors argued, there’s little chance that consumers will absorb the extra costs.

It seems clear that Central Valley jobs and businesses are being sacrificed as part of a utopian environmental scheme to lower worldwide temperatures. Reducing carbon-dioxide emissions will not clean up pollution in the bad-air areas of Fresno County, given that global-warming gases are not—despite President Obama’s insistence—a pollutant. But more land will go fallow as farm-based industries shift south of the Mexican border and even to China.

CARB attempting to solve a problem that does not exist. There is no proven case for human caused global warming. As we discovered in Climategate I and II the CO2 science is flawed and a small group of UN IPCC climate scientist rigged the data to continues to get grants to study the problem.

For readers truly interested in understanding the the problem the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) has series of links to commentators who have analyzed the Climategate II emails:

Rep Darrel Issa – Paging CARB’s Mary Nichols

Russ Steele

It has been my opinion the CARB is bureaucracy that is out of control, with little of no oversight. Now, it appears that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has some concerns about CARB refusing the answer some questions about CARB setting fuel standards.

The Sac Bee Capitol Alert has the story:

The California Air Resources Board is now being investigated by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

On Wednesday, the committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Temecula, sent Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols a 13-page letter advising her that he was “expanding” the committee’s ongoing investigation into the establishment of fuel economy standards. Nichols had earlier declined to attend a committee hearing on the subject.

“Your refusal to subject yourself and your office to congressional scrutiny is emblematic of the core concern that many in Congress share…that CARB, as a state actor, is unresponsive to congressional concerns and unappreciative of congressional priorities,” Issa wrote.

Issa accompanied his observation with a series of specific questions and document requests, dealing with California’s role in the fuel economy standard deliberations. The ARB has until Nov. 23 to meet the demands.

I will keep looking for the list of questions and see how CARB answer them.  This should be real interesting, with Governor Brown holding a climate change threat conference in December. More on that meeting in another post.