- a weekly column published in the Siskiyou Daily News
Climate Change and CA Misguided and Expensive Regulations (Part 2 of 2) :
Just this past week, a field study was released showing that Antarctic ice shelves are not melting, as previously claimed. In fact, a whole website is dedicated to evidence that global warming has been hyped: http://wattsupwiththat.com/ Yet, California still follows its mission to allegedly protect the planet while committing economic suicide.
In 2006, California passed AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. The Act directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limits equivalent to those of 1990 and to achieve that target by 2020. The Climate Change Scoping Plan is CARBs roadmap for achieving the states 2020 emissions limit. E
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that electrical rates could increase by as much as 15 percent as utilities rush to renewable energy power sources to comply with the law. According to a January article by Pete Peterson of Pepperdine's School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley biogeochemist Margaret Torn used detailed models of power grids to extrapolate the necessary infrastructure changes California would need to make to meet these goals. Her findings, published in the November issue of Science concluded that by 2020 every Californian would have to be driving an electric car powered by the 1.5 new nuclear plants per year that California would have to build between now and 2050. First the legislature would have to approve the new nuclear plants (unlikely.)
In 2010 under Proposition 23, Californians had a chance to postpone implementing AB32 until statewide unemployment fell below 5.5 percent for a full year, but California voters voted it down.
In 2008, the CA legislature passed SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008. This Act requires 18 regional transportation planning agencies (or metropolitan planning organizations) to adopt plans to reduce auto and light truck emissions in consideration of statewide greenhouse gas emissions goals. The regional agencies are comprised of local elected officials: city council members and members of boards of supervisors from the region. Cities and counties outside of the boundaries of the 18 metropolitan planning organizations may still voluntarily adopt policies and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through their land use and transportation planning activities. The Institute for Local Government provides Climate Action and Sustainability Best Practices Framework as a guide: http://www.ca-ilg.org/climate-action-sustainability-best-practices
Strategies include: more efficient vehicles; increase in the use of low-carbon fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks; and reduction of vehicle miles traveled. The 18 metropolitan planning organizations are required by the act to plan land use patterns in their region to encourage the use of mass transit, to cluster housing near work and to eliminate urban sprawl. The law requires that each metropolitan planning organization develop a sustainable community strategy . ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) often provides template language for such plans.
AB 857, is a law that requires the Governor to submit annually to the Legislature a proposed five year infrastructure plan needed for schools and agencies. Each proposal must specify how the request is consistent with statewide priorities. These include: the promotion of infill and equity; protecting and preserving the environment and undeveloped lands; the encouragement of efficient development patterns minimizing costs to taxpayers to provide services.
SB 391, passed in 2009, adds new requirements to the states long-range
transportation plan to meet
The California Interregional Blueprint will also integrate the states long-range
plans with Caltrans-sponsored programs including: the regional Blueprint planning program;
smart Mobility framework; complete streets;
SB 732, established the Strategic Growth Council funded through water and flood control bond money. The Council coordinates programs of state agencies to improve air and water quality; improve natural resource protection; increase the availability of affordable housing; improve transportation; meet the goals of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006; encourage sustainable land use planning; and revitalize urban and community centers in a sustainable manner. The council is required to manage and award grants and loans to support the planning and development of sustainable communities, including general plan elements.