Posted by Brian Sussman in Nationally Published Columns
on Oct 18th, 2010 | 1 comment
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is a rogue environmental agency that relies on scare tactics and junk science to put forward it’s socialist agenda. CARB is considered a model agency by governmental eco-freaks across the nation. A brilliant paper was recently published by Robert Michaels of California State University-Fullerton, regarding the impending implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB (Assembly Bill) 32. The goal of the act is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, through a program administered and enforced by CARB.
In the paper Michaels notes:
- There are no world climate benefits from AB 32. California’s greenhouse gas emissions are only 2 percent of global emissions, and its share is falling as those from China and the developing world rapidly rise.
- CARB’s results come from a computer model that is by its own admission unreal. In the model, it is mathematically impossible to have unemployment as high as prevails today, and the model does not allow climate policy to change the rate at which unprofitable businesses close or leave the state.
- To create benefits from costly command-and-control regulations, CARB assumes that Californians do not know best what works for their own lives, but that CARB’s choices are economically superior—a heroic and unsupportable assumption.
- CARB assumes its new automobile fuel economy regulation will help California drivers by artificially limiting automobile choices. This assumes that people do not already consider fuel economy when buying a new car—again, another heroic and unsupportable assumption.
- CARB assumes that its fuel economy regulations will cost “only” $1050 per vehicle in 2016 and $2,000 in 2020. Estimates by others are much higher.
- According to CARB, the benefits of a low carbon fuel standard that reduces GHG emissions equal its costs. CARB, however, conveniently excludes over $6 billion per year in federal ethanol and biofuel subsidies from the costs.
- Hidden in the “fine print” of CARB’s scoping plan is an admission that to meet the 2020 goals it will need to cut the number of passenger vehicles by 20 percent (while population grows by 12 percent), but the Board does not specify exactly how this will be done.
- CARB misses obvious ways to reduce the world’s GHG emissions more cheaply than its own programs can do the job. Its recently-ordered renewable electricity requirement increases will reduce GHG emissions, but at 7 times the cost per ton of simply buying European greenhouse gas permits and not using them.
- CARB’s program will intrude on both big and small decisions. It will become active in land-use planning with a goal of increasing density and reducing driving, and it has already issued detailed regulations requiring garages to offer all customers free tire pressure checks.
- A Governor’s Executive Order (not yet law) wants to extend the program beyond 2020, so that emissions in 2050 are 20 percent of their 1990 values, and CARB is already formulating plans that include a 40 percent reduction in private vehicles by 2030.
AB 32 started as “feel good” legislation that would set an example for other states and nations, few of which have actively followed it. Since its passage, California’s unemployment has risen to 12 percent, and CARB’s claim that its policies will improve our lives becomes less credible by the day. An unelected Air Resources Board has chosen to bet the well-being of millions of Californians on computer models that cannot even give an accurate picture of today’s economy.