CARB Adopts Controversial Climate Change Plan
Board Moves Aggressively as State Faces "Financial Armageddon" - Posted 12/12/08
Sacramento, CA - Is there a disconnect here, or will this high stakes gamble by the Governor and CARB to impose some of the most costly environmental regulations pay-off in the long run? That's the question Californian's have to be asking themselves this morning. Yesterday, even as CARB was deliberating, the Governor predicted a staggering $41.8 billion over the next 18 months, potentially forcing the state to halt payments to state vendors and contractors. According to a survey conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) California leads the nation in the sheer size of its budget gap.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyear said if the state Legislature fails to act the state would have to stop financing $5 billion in infrastructure projects next week, which could mean a loss of about 200,000. The state already has lost its ability to borrow because of its fiscal mess.
In his own words, the Governor called it the potential collapse "a financial Armageddon." The Governor and Assembly and Senate Democrats are pinning hopes on tax and fee increases, and the imposition of stringent, technology forcing, environmental regulations which they believe will spawn new economic growth and "green" investment.
In an official statement released after the CARB vote Governor Schwarzenegger expressed his satisfaction with the outcome by saying, "Today is the day we help unleash the full force of California's innovation and technology for a healthier planet, a stronger and more robust economy and a safer and more secure energy future."
Speaking on behalf of a broad business and industry coalition known as the AB 32 Implementation Group, Amisha Patel of the California Chamber of Commerce is quoted as saying, "The deepening recession has affected businesses throughout the state . . . the reality of climate regulation is there will be costs."
From small businesses to major industries, there have already been and continue to be forced changes within their operations. High paying middle class manufacturing jobs have been lost in the 100's of thousands according to the California Manufactures and Technology Association; and yet even in the face of looming tax increases to pull the state out of its financial morass, come more environmental regulation which by their very nature will cause energy prices to skyrocket.
On Friday CARB is expected to adopt additional onerous regulations affecting large diesel trucks, thereby increasing the costs of delivered goods. Is anybody listening?
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