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Assemblyman Dan Logue

May 20, 2010

[Publisher's Note:  We are pleased to offer this perspective piece from California State Assemblyman Dan Logue - Flash.]

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At my request, last week the Legislative Analyst’s Office released a report on the true costs of Assembly Bill 32 and the impact it will have on California’s economy. For those of you that are not yet familiar with AB 32,  the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” as it is otherwise known, was passed in 2006 in response to growing fears of global warming and rising sea levels. The bill essentially gave the California Air Resources Board the authority to implement a series of extreme regulations in order to force our carbon emissions back down to 1990 levels by 2020. This is truly a go-at-it-alone effort if there ever was one, far surpassing any green house gas regulations that are currently in place world wide. As I have said time and time again, these draconian measures will only push our already fragile economy over the edge and do little to combat actual climate change. It seems almost as if CARB has failed to take into account the 2.26 million people out of work and the growing exodus of businesses from California.
The LAO analyzed the full scale of damage our state will incur when trying to address the climate change issue alone. Their findings are alarming and give significant cause for reconsideration of whether or not AB 32 should continue to be implemented in this economy. During these trying times, I feel that it is crucial for all the facts to be available to the public so that they can make an informed decision for their future and that of our great state.
In their analysis, the LAO concludes that California’s economy will be negatively impacted if we continue to implement climate change related policies that are not adopted anywhere else. By trying to stop global warming single-handedly, our relative prices for energy, such as electricity, will be going through the roof. This, in turn, will cause the price of goods and services in the state to rise; lowering business profits, reducing production, income, and most importantly jobs. Just take a moment to imagine what that would mean for a state that already has well over 12% of its population unemployed.
The impact of AB 32 will be felt statewide, and while the effects may only be “modest” in certain industries, for many others it will be devastating. As businesses that cannot provide “green jobs” flee to states with lower regulatory costs, they will be taking our jobs and state revenues with them. Because California’s economy depends so heavily on interstate and international trade, we are especially vulnerable to outsourcing and competition when prices start to rise.  The LAO found that ARB’s scoping plan has done a poor job of analyzing such leakages and costs associated with implementation. It then begs the question, how is it that CARB (a board of non-elected officials) can be given the power to enact the most severe environmental regulations known to date, without an accurate analysis of what it could mean for our economy?
California is not in a position to gamble with its future and the report’s findings only serve to confirm what I have been saying all along. With our state’s deficit at an all time high, these senseless regulations threaten our hopes of economic recovery. AB 32 will drive costs up statewide and cause further havoc for our already struggling businesses. It is time for us to seek out the truth and make the choices necessary to get our state working again. The bottom line is that people’s lives will be changed and they deserve a voice of reason.
Numerous studies rank California last in places to start a business in the U.S. It has the worst regulations and one of the highest tax rates of all the states. With a 12.6 percent unemployment rate and 2.3 million people without jobs, an economic recovery is getting more difficult by the second. AB 32 will be the tipping point to ensure that California, by going it alone, will never recover from its recession.

Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Linda, represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature. He is vice-chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, and Chairman of the Assembly Republican Task Force on Jobs and the Economy.

You can write to Assemblyman Logue, via the FR,

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