Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

AB 32 costs before AB 32 costs

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Sept. 10, 2008

Unless Governor Schwarzenegger vetoes SB 1762 (Sen. Don Perata), there's a good chance that the state's residential and industrial energy consumers will see the first chunk of increased global warming costs before the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has even finalized a scoping plan that will inevitably put the country's highest premium on all products that start or end in a greenhouse gas in California.

SB 1762 creates a "Climate Change Institute" that among many things would become California's greenhouse gas research and development center.  The life of the institute will use close to $500 million, in which $370 million will be collected from electricity and natural gas consumers.   Until the state reforms AB1X and un-exempts the majority of residential users, only the largest residential and industrial users will pay the cost.  With or without an AB1X fix, SB 1762 is just a taste of what's to come under California's massive global warming regulation.  And here, we come to one of the biggest rubs of all -- it's a "taste" that completely ignores and circumvents CARB's authority to guide AB 32's implementation, regulations, costs, and research and development.

The Governor went through more than a year of deliberations and legislative rigor to get AB 32 passed.  In the end, the bill delivered the entire plan's authority to CARB's greenhouse gas 200-man team.  After months and months of intense work, CARB continues to struggle with the broadest and most cost effective manner in which to implement this California-only policy.  This bill and new agency would make that challenge harder.  There is definitive value in a research and development arm for the state's massive global warming undertaking, but a half-baked plan that burdens only a select few with the costs of a program that benefits everyone will only hurt consumers and the economy.  It undermines the bill's ultimate goal to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and grow the economy in a state that already has the highest electricity rates in the west.

See CMTA veto letter
See AB 32 Implementation Group press release

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