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$20 billion budget abyss should trigger pause in bold, California-only policy

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 29, 2008

California State Senate Republicans today announced an economic recovery package to reduce costs on consumers and businesses to help dampen the burden on the State's $20 billion deficit.  Among the recovery measures was a request to delay the greenhouse gas implementation for one year.  AB 32 will impose new costs -- estimated at $511 billion by the EPRI -- on the California economy and worsen the budget crisis.  We are already 23% more expensive than the national average in business costs. The one year additional time for implementation would delay those new costs, and also allow more time for the federal government to act.  Delaying implementation by this modest timeframe also gives the Air Resources Board time to develop rational regulations and work toward a market to keep compliance costs low for California companies.

All of the proposed measures work within existing law.  In AB 32, there is specific language that allows for a temporary adjustment by the Governor during extraordinary economic times:
    "38599.  (a) In the event of extraordinary circumstances, catastrophic events, or threat of significant economic harm, the Governor may adjust the applicable deadlines for individual regulations, or for the state in the aggregate, to the earliest feasible date after that deadline.     (b) The adjustment period may not exceed one year unless the Governor makes an additional adjustment pursuant to subdivision (a)."

The California-only greenhouse gas undertaking has been lauded as one of the biggest and boldest policy decisions this Sate has made in the last 20 years ... for a reason.   It will cost consumers more money, negate even more competitive balance for California employers and, with a dismal budget, threaten our State's finances.  A momentary pause is almost meaningless to the bill's goal and, in fact, provides more time to understand the effects of the myriad of future regulations.


Video footage:
Watch CMTA Dorothy Rothrock on the AB 32 proposal
Watch State Senate Republican Leader David Cogdill and Sen. Bob Dutton introduce Economic Recovery package
Watch Sen. George Runner responding to questions
Watch Sen. Cogdill responding to questions

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