Over the last thirty years, Californians have developed a fetish for environmental causes. With little or no concern for the costs or provable benefits of these green initiatives, California has embedded exorbitant costs in all services, products, fuels, land uses and daily activities in the solemn belief that all environmental issues must receive immediate government attention and funding. Litigious, fear mongering eco-groups have brainwashed legions of followers that will leap over a cliff to save a wayward Delhi Sands Flower-loving Fly. Capitalism, corporate profits, and ultimately, prosperity are the enemies of environmental activism. And, you the taxpayer pick up the tab for all of their theatrics.
The green fetish has driven California to spend on reflex, rather than reality. The U.S. spends about 5% of gross domestic product (GDP) on environmental controls. California probably spends twice that for environmental regulations, enforcements, energy subsidies and gratuitous taxes at both state and local levels. California environmentalists are a partisan political special interest, and are as militant and destructive as the labor unions that have spent the state into endless budget deficits.
Before the economic recession, Californians blindly approved the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32) that mandates 2012 reductions of greenhouse gases through carbon taxes, and alternative and renewable fuel subsidies. All new climate laws increase the unit production costs and corresponding consumer prices of all goods and services. A study by the Governor’s Small Business Advocate reports that small businesses pay more than $134,000 each in annual California regulatory costs – significantly in green regulations. Estimates are that the total cost of California regulations is about $493 billion annually – the equivalent of 3.8 million jobs. A.B. 32 could cost the state an additional 1 million in job losses with its cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels.
California voters can delay the California Global Warming Solutions Act (A.B. 32) by voting for Prop. 23 November 2nd. Prop. 23 would suspend implementation of A.B. 32 until the state’s unemployment rate is reduced to below 5.5%. California’s high 2010 unemployment (12%) has been approached twice in the last 30 years – in 1982 (11%) and 1992 (10%). In each of these economic downturns, it took 5 to 7 years of economic recovery to achieve the target 5.5% unemployment.
What is clear in California is that partisan ideologies and cultish environmentalism have replaced prudent science and economic realities in climate policy. What is also clear is that radical environmentalism no longer offers any product or service in support of our future security and prosperity. Militant environmentalism and green-obsessed bureaucrats have become an “axis of antagonism” that we can no longer afford.
Hat Tip: Climate Change Dispatch