Must-reads for the week

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 24, 2012 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On California career technical education

Vital student programs may be sacrified on the altar of flexibility
by Jim Aschwanden

The proposed budget can’t be characterized so much as inspired thinking as it is a manifestation of a “throw in the towel” mentality – without any consideration for the damage done to students who directly benefit from some crucial categorical programs.  Nowhere will this impact be noticed more than in the loss of existing Career Technical Education programs. Widely recognized as a major factor in engaging students in relevant, inspiring, hands-on learning experiences, programs like Partnership Academies, Apprenticeship Programs, Agriculture Education, and Regional Occupational Programs are not part of the mandated curriculum … READ ON

On New Mexico killing cap-and-trade (Wasn't everyone supposed to follow California?)

5-0 Vote Kills Off Cap-Trade
Albuquerque Journal

The state Environmental Improvement Board voted 5-0 Monday to repeal a controversial cap-and-trade regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nullifying a struggling program before it got off the ground.   A partnership of seven states originally envisioned to participate in the cap-and-trade program had dwindled to two, board Chairman Deborah Peacock said.  “The intent was that all these states would be doing this cap and trading, and everyone’s dropped (out) except for California and New Mexico,” she said. “That, to me, was very significant.”   The state, in fact, officially exited the program in the fall… READ ON

On California's climate change program

Think global, act goofy
editorial by the North County Times

The jarring disconnect between how politicians in Sacramento see their job, and how ordinary folks would like the state to do its job, was never more evident than last week when the county of San Diego released its draft "climate action plan."  Before you go thinking the the folks who run San Diego County have lost their marbles, understand that they were only doing what was required under California's 2006 "greenhouse gas" law. Every other county has to do the exact same thing… READ ON

On California's Green Chemistry program

Letter to the Sacramento Business Journal Editor
by Jack Stewart

It is distressing to read that state regulators charged with writing the rulebook for California’s Green Chemistry Initiative appear to have casually parted ways with the original goals and objectives of that important program. (Businesses face new rules over chemicals, Feb. 17)

The laws that established the green chemistry program specifically call on the Department of Toxic Substances Control to establish a science-based process for selecting which chemicals and products to regulate.  The emerging regulation described to the Business Journal does no such thing.  Instead, the DTSC appears content to leave manufacturers, retailers and consumers in the dark as to what products will be selected and why.  This comes despite hundreds of pages of comments from all corners of the economy – and even from the European Union -- warning regulators of the danger behind ignoring this duty.  Unless critical changes are made to the DTSC’s draft regulation, companies and consumers will be left to guess at whether products are likely to be ruled as “safe” or subjected to expensive regulation.  This kind of uncertainly is precisely the opposite of what was intended by the 2008 legislation that established the Green Chemistry Initiative.  The Business Journal’s reporting also revealed that even after four years of work on these regulations, the DTSC has conducted no study and has no data on the costs that will be borne by consumers.  This fact alone should give pause to Gov. Brown and every one who believes in balanced, fair regulations.  Business and industry have demonstrated their willingness to work with regulators in creating green chemistry regulations that will make safe products safer and inspire new investment in our state.  Unless regulators share that vision, however, green chemistry will bring only new burdens to California consumers.

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