An article masquerading as serious journalism ran in the Los Angeles Times one week ago, touting California’s Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, as a “Rock Star.”
Bureaucrats can’t be rock stars, despite what the Los Angeles Times says.
What most people don’t know is her husband, John Daum, is a lawyer for ExxonMobil. Nor do many know how Nichols is responsible for ruining good people’s lives.
In Parts l and ll of this series, I showed what happens with unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats like Nichols, in California — the most liberal of states in the US.
Arrested Development in the Golden State
Under the policies and control of Democrats and Liberals, California has the highest taxation in the nation, deliberately slowed energy development, environmentalist dominance over agriculture and food production, union dominance, unsustainable pensions, and more municipal bankruptcies on the horizon.
Nobody is minding the store; our Democratically dominated Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, also a Democrat, are passing thousands of laws which violate the free market, as well as State Constitution. And they violate nearly all modes of legal and ethical behavior expected of elected leaders.
And this is how Mary Nichols has thrived.
Jerry, Mary and Arnie
Nichols was originally appointed by Jerry Brown as the Secretary of Environmental Affairs and Air Resources Board way back in the mid-1970’s, when Brown was first elected governor. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reappointed Nichols.
As the Chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, Nichols is charged with the implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, and SB 375, the Sustainable Communities Protection Act – both explicit social engineering processes intended to force Californians into high density, high rise housing, out of personal automobiles, and onto public transportation.
Nichols continues to forge ahead with additional regulatory and tax schemes, despite her own CARB Officer Richard Corey admitting at a 2013 ARB meeting, “The last three years have seen the biggest drop in carbon emissions” in the state’s history. He said California has nearly met its 1990 levels of carbon emissions — Largely thanks to awareness and technological advances in automobiles.
Since the 2006 passage of AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, the ARB has used this law to add regulations on manufacturers, food processors, agriculture, auto and truck owners, trucking companies, energy producers, and more.
These laws are liberty denying measures.
Nichols has a long history of Politburo behavior, and the Air Resources Board is California’s version of the Soviet Union’s State Committee For Planning, which was the Communist central board that supervised the planned economy of the Soviet Union, and decided how much industry in the Soviet Union was allowed to grow in each five-year period.
Nichols has even tried to pass a regulation to “forbid dishonest statements offered to the Board or to its staff.” However, once it made the news, the proposed regulation providing for “penalties for false information” was removed from CARB’s website. And this agenda item appeared to have been indefinitely postponed.
The Phony State Scientist Who Still Has a Job
In 2010, high officials of the California Air Resources Board learned that the author of a statistical study on diesel soot effects had lied about his academic credentials.
The researcher, Hien Tran, later acknowledged the deception and agreed to be demoted, only after his data were given another peer review, they remained the basis of highly controversial regulations that will cost owners of trucks, buses and other diesel-powered machinery millions of dollars to upgrade their engines. The Tran study concluded that diesel “particulate matter” was responsible for about 1,000 additional deaths each year.
But Tran’s data was grossly wrong – about 340 percent wrong.
That “landmark diesel law” grossly miscalculated pollution levels by 340 percent, in a scientific analysis used to toughen diesel emissions, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2010. “CARB had a lot of input in this legislation. They have a history if politics interfering with science and I have no confidence that this law is based on sound findings,” said Anthony Watts, an actual retired meteorologist and self-described greenie, who has followed the CARB and AB 32 more closely than just about anyone.
Independent scientists attributed the flawed work to a faulty method of calculation – not the economic downturn, as the Air Resources Board asserted — the overestimate was nothing other than a scam to promote the state’s flawed ‘green’ agenda.
Peer reviews show that Tran was way off, and eventually exactly where the 340 percent factor was identified.
But Tran kept his job and Nichols used his data in her quest to stop climate change. And in the meantime, many small businesses have been ruined thanks to the ARB’s regulations.
The Firing of Dr. James Enstrom
Bucking the highly fashionable notion that California’s air pollution is deadly, Dr. James Enstrom was one of only a few scientists willing to blow the whistle on the fraudulent science perpetrated at the California Air Resources Board.
It is often said the cover up is worse than the crime. Dr. Enstrom is living proof.
An attempt to muzzle scientific debate and academic freedom on a University of California college campus has been at the root of the wrongful termination lawsuit of Dr. James Enstrom from University of California Los Angeles – where Mary Nichols is listed as a Professor-in-Residence at UCLA School of Law.
Enstrom challenged the scientific research that the California Air Resources Board and California Legislature used to enact policies regulating diesel fuel emissions. And then he was fired.
Enstrom exposed the cover-up of “junk environmental science.” He also outed the phony scientist Hien Tran at the Air Resources Board, as well as the Legislature’s subsequent adoption of regulations stemming from the fake science.
Liberating Californians From Their Homes and Autos
I’ve heard Nichols say her goal is to “liberate” us from the burden of our own vehicles. Mary Nichols wants fewer cars on the road in California. When asked about the economic ramifications of the Air Resources Board’s regulations, she has said she might be concerned if she was an elected official.
And although California already has some of the strictest pollution regulations in the country, Nichols is helping to lay the groundwork for more.
“It’s on people’s minds right now,” Nichols said. “While the momentum is strong is the right time to act.”
California Politicians Deaf to the Science
Gov. Jerry Brown “has signaled his desire for new climate-change initiatives,” the Times reported, as has new Senate Pres. pro Tem Kevin de Leon.
Young people should be wary because both “Brown and Nichols are back in the same jobs they had 40 years ago.” Brown is 76, and Nichols will be 70 in April. And while Brown claims Nichols has good judgment, her Statist doctrine of centralized government control over economic planning and policy, speaks volumes about Brown’s own intentions, and ignores the fact that free markets and innovation do much more to improve the environment than Czarists dictates.
Nichols, WCI and illegal trade agreements
According to legislative staffers, the California Air Resources Board, with help from Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, figured out a way to exempt itself from the state’s open meeting act.
Government Code 11120, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, is explicitly exempted in the language of budget trailer bill SB 1018. “That was the final nail in the coffin of transparency,” a Capitol staffer commented to me in 2012.
The problem is that WCI Inc. was formed in Delaware, a state not subject to California’s open meeting or sunshine laws, leaving many questioning why CARB opted for such secrecy. The only reason to register the corporation in Delaware is the lack public or legislative scrutiny on any of their meetings or actions they take.
The California Air Resources Board figured out a way to exempt itself from the state’s open meeting act. “The little jewel, secretly placed into a trailer bill in the recently passed state budget, will allow the California Air Resources Board to conduct state business without any of that pesky transparency stuff,” I explained.
“Government Code 11120, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, is explicitly exempted in the language of budget trailer bill SB 1018. ”That was the final nail in the coffin of transparency,” a Capitol staffer commented.”
The ARB created the cap-and-trade program to auction off carbon allowances to California businesses, forcing businesses deemed “polluters” to pay billions of dollars just for the privilege of continuing to do business in California. The “cap” in cap-and-trade is the legal limit on the quantity of greenhouse gases a business can emit each year, and “trade” means that companies can swap or trade emission permits among each other.
But even with all of this information, Nichols has kept her job.