AB 32 Scoping Plan Adopted

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 12, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

As expected, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously approved a scoping plan for AB 32 implementation. CARB had been roundly criticized for failing to provide an honest assessment of the potential costs of the plan.  The analysis released by CARB in October predicted that the scoping plan would create jobs and save consumers money.

The AB32 Implementation Group, a business coalition co-chaired by CMTA, immediately took CARB to task for downplaying the costs and overestimating the benefits of measures in the plan.  We also expressed concerns about near term costs far out-weighing near term benefits, putting the economy at great risk during the early years of regulations. Expert economists soon joined our plea that CARB needs to do a better job of economic analysis. The Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO) and a peer review panel of leading climate change economists delivered harsh criticism during the weeks leading up to the plan adoption date.  

CMTA testified that AB 32 implementation will add significant costs to businesses and consumers in the state. A good analysis is vital to determine the most cost-effective approaches, to identify new costs that need to be mitigated, and to inform policymakers about costly barriers to implementation that should be addressed.  

In response to the concerns of business, environmentalists, local agencies and others involved in the scoping plan development, the CARB adopted a series of resolutions, including a direction to CARB staff to do a more thorough economic report by the end of 2009.  They will estimate the overall costs and savings, the timing of capital investments, conduct sensitivity analyses, and determine impacts on small businesses.  Other resolutions concerned cap and trade program development, public health issues, land use targets, and more.

Chairwoman Mary Nichols noted that the scoping plan is a framework, or blueprint, for AB 32 implementation - that it is not a final decision on every element contained therein. We urge the CARB to use new economic analysis and other tools to improve the plan in the coming months.

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