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Katy Grimes

CARB’s Mary Nichols Is No ‘Rock Star’ Among CA Bureaucrats

An article masquerading as serious journalism ran in the Los Angeles Times Saturday touting California’s Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, as a “Rock Star.”

Once I got the coffee out of my nose, I reasoned that Nichols, the CARB’s dear leader, might indeed be a rock star… in a sort of Rosie O’Donnell or Janet Napolitano way. And she’s just about as pleasant as those two fishwives.

However, Nichols actually functions more like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton – she’s known as a shakedown artist, but comes with a state-issued badge.

The LA Times story testified to this:

“A meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown and Chevron executives was ending when an oil company official turned to Mary Nichols, California’s top regulator for air pollution. There was only so much Chevron could do to meet the state’s rules, he told her. ‘I know we’ve told you before that we couldn’t do things that you wanted us to do, and then we’ve turned around and succeeded,’ he said. ‘But this time we really mean it.’”

I give you Chevron, one of the world’s largest oil producers, flinching at the feet of Mary Nichols. At least that’s how she recalls the story.

Who, and What, is Mary?

Mary Nichols at UC Berkeley energy symposium

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. And bicycles. You must give up your BMW for a Bianchi.

“These targets are ambitious, achievable and very good news for California communities.  Improved planning means cleaner air in our cities, less time stuck in your car, and healthier, more sustainable communities,” said Nichols. “Cities that choose to develop Sustainable Communities Plans that meet these targets have an advantage when it comes to attracting the kinds of vibrant, healthy development that people want.”

“Less time stuck in your car” actually means Nichols plans to stop people from using personal autos by making driving a living hell through preposterous, expensive, and authoritarian regulations. The move afoot by the CARB and radical left to strip Americans of their cars under the guise of environmentalism, knows no bounds.

Under AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the California Air Resources Board was charged with overseeing the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. That effectively meant a 25 percent reduction.

But this mission has been accomplished. As I reported from a 2013 hearing, CARB Officer Richard Corey admitted, “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 technology.

Automobile engines have made such technological advances, today they are more powerful, quieter, more durable, less polluting and more fuel-efficient than ever before. But not content with the reductions, or honest enough to admit AB 32 is unnecessary, Nichols instead embraced her inner bureaucrat and expanded her authority. She did this by creating a mandatory cap and trade program. Yet California’s only trading partner is Quebec. And now, with the second highest gas taxes in the country, California will be the first in the nation to impose a cap and trade tax on transportation fuels under the flailing program – despite that everyone in the country is currently enjoying lower gas prices.

“We’re very confident that anybody who is subject to this rule knows what they need to do and is capable of complying,” Nichols recently said, sounding like a character out of an Orwell novel. “The amount is small. It does get hidden in the noise, in the other changes that are constantly taking place in the pricing of gasoline,” ” Nichols arrogantly said recently in a Sacramento Bee story about the gas tax.

What’s another tax among friends?

Mary Nichols

It’s good to be Mary

Nichols lives the life of a Soviet political elite. She receives a healthy base salary of $146,000, in addition to rich state health and pension benefits, and travels extensively “on business” to climate change conferences around the world. She just returned from Peru. Paris is on the climate change conference agenda for next year. Think of all of the carbon emissions spent by those traveling to Peru and Paris, when participants could skype instead.

Irish wit Oscar Wilde once quipped, “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” He died in 1900, but he would have recognized the California Air Resources Board.


 Part ll tomorrow including Mary the ‘Rock Star,’ Mary of the Politburo, and Mary has Hubris.

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