Friday, October 24, 2008

California Climate Control

A plan by California to address climate control has problems, particularly for business, and this article from the California Chamber notes those.

An excerpt.

“October 22, 2008) Declaring that there are better, less costly ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions especially in these difficult economic times, the California Chamber of Commerce and a coalition representing 165 business organizations expressed concern about the billions of dollars of increased energy costs that would result from a climate change plan recently released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB).

“The AB 32 Scoping Plan contains the main strategies California will use to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) that cause climate change. The Scoping Plan has a range of GHG reduction actions which include direct regulations, alternative compliance mechanisms, monetary and non-monetary incentives, voluntary actions, and market-based mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade system. These measures have been introduced through four workshops between November 30, 2007 and April 17. A draft Scoping Plan was released for public review and comment on June 26 followed by more workshops in July and August, 2008.

“The ARB staff asserts that the plan will save consumers money, but their analysis relies on existing laws to promote vehicle fuel efficiency which are already on the books, independent of AB 32. The cost savings anticipated by the legislation, hides the reality that other measures in the Scoping Plan will cause electricity rates to increase by 11 percent, natural gas rates by 8 percent. Additionally, gasoline costs would go up by $11 billion a year under the plan.

“The Scoping Plan will add to the worsening economic problems facing California companies and families,” said Shelly Sullivan, executive director of the AB 32 Implementation Group. “Why not give consumers a break by adopting a well-designed cap-and-trade program that reduces the cost of cutting greenhouse gas emissions?”

"Market mechanisms such as a cap-and-trade program give companies the ability to reduce emissions at the lowest cost, either on site or through the purchase of offsets.”