AB 32

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Last week, Judge Lawrence O’Neill of the U.S. District Court in Fresno issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), a regulation requiring a 10% reduction in the carbon content of motor fuels sold in the state by 2020. O’Neill concluded that the LCFS violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it discriminates against out-of-state economic interests and attempts to control conduct outside the state’s jurisdiction. [click to continue…]

An AB32 Primer

by Chris Horner on October 25, 2010

So, we read that Hollywood, Al Gore’s group, rent-seeking industry and other green groups have been joined by the rest of the usual suspects-Google, Bill Gates-in opposing Proposition 23, a ballot initiative to delay their state’s energy rationing law which will soon take effect. That is, barring voter intervention putting a temporary stay on this economic suicide pact until the state’s economy recovers somewhat.

I should think that’s about all one needs to know about Proposition 23.

Still, all of that money to protect the global warming industry’s gravy train seems to be having an effect among telephone survey respondents. But it remains a close one. And that’s why they suit up and play the game.

The people who will be hurt most by this costly gesture by elites who for the most part will not feel the pinch of California sinking further down the drain, particularly Hispanic voters, support reclaiming voter sovereignty on an issue the political class has proven an inability to responsibly manage.

I suppose this is just fodder for so much more hand-wringing by the Left about the regular voter being too stupid for the elites to stomach. How dare those imbeciles not wildly fall for it! Remember, AB 32 was passed as a global warming law. When it began to dawn on people that now was not the time for foolish gestures, even in California, and since no one actually posits that AB 32 would ‘do something’ to the climate in any detectable way (or even close, accepting all of the alarmists’ assumptions), the party line promptly switched to it being a jobs bill. Yeah, that’s it.

And, now, as the truth is making the rounds that this “world’s first” scheme has in fact proven to be a job-killing bog in many places already, the global warming industry has now done its usual late-hour race to the bottom. One pressure group is blitzing the airwaves with shameful ads saying this is about (of course) childhood respiratory function. Not a word in the ad about global warming. Huh. This comes from the California chapter of a group long having had a difficult relationship with being straight on such matters (including, as Reason’s Joel Schwartz has pointed out on many occasions, about California-specific issues and, as I detailed in Red Hot Lies, about global warming).

Which begs the question, unless they are just torturing the facts and being alarmist (again), why wasn’t that the reason AB 32 was passed to begin with? Instead, it was (risible) state-specific computer-modeled scenarios of doom unless the people allowed the political class to strip them of ever more freedoms. It was the faddish “global warming” pony they sought to ride to the long-held desire to price energy out of the reach of the same average voters whose proliferation and attainment of automobility, vacations and the like the elites just couldn’t tolerate.

You will know them by their deeds, and the global warming industry’s have a pretty miserable record.

I’ve blogged before on the LA Times’s one sided coverage of AB 32, California’s first-in-the-nation climate change mitigation law. In a nutshell, the LA Times is a big cheerleader for the legislation, with a record of publishing favorable stories and ignoring negative ones.

Case in point: Today, the Times ran an opinion piece, “A Green Jobs Generator,” by two economists who claim that their economic analysis of AB 32 is being distorted by opponents of the legislation. The LA Times allowed them the space to set the record straight, and thus its editorial page again reassured readers that “doing something” about climate change will be easy because it will reduce energy costs and create “green jobs.”  Of course, this is baloney-in fact, “doing something” about climate change will make energy more expensive and thereby kill jobs-but the LA Times has an agenda to push, so why sweat the details.

Also today, E&E ClimateWire broke the news that Larry Goulder, the lead author of a recent AB 32 economic analysis commissioned by the state, is on the board of directors of a non-profit that has given money to a political campaign to defeat a ballot initiative that would suspend AB 32. So it’s not surprising that he concluded that AB 32 would create jobs. Naturally, the LA Times covered Goulder’s favorable economic analysis when it was released a few weeks ago. But it has yet to report on his association with a pro-AB 32 political organization. Perhaps it will tomorrow, but I doubt it.

Goulder told ClimateWire that nothing is amiss, but it sure seems like a conflict of interest to me. If an Exxon staffer punched up an economic report suggesting that AB 32 would harm California’s economy, environmentalists would throw a hissy-fit. And the LA Times, no doubt, would try to discredit the report as “industry funded.”