Six Facts That Undermine The Orange County Register's Attacks On California Clean Energy Initiatives

››› ››› SALVATORE COLLELUORI

Over the last year, the Orange County Register has published numerous editorials that falsely portray California's pollution reduction program as costly, ineffective and arbitrarily imposed by state regulators. In fact, the program -- which incorporates a cap-and-trade program -- is part of a bipartisan law expected to benefit the state's economy.

The OC Register Portrays Clean Energy Program As An Ineffective, Job Killing Tax Imposed By State Regulators

OC Register: AB 32 Bill Is "Costly" And "Jobs-Killing." According to the Orange County Register:

We also don't see Mr. Torlakson, Mr. Brown and others trying to make the state's economy grow faster, and so broaden the tax base. For example, the governor by himself could delay, for one year, the jobs-killing Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. In January, costly new carbon emission cap-and-trade burdens will be imposed on businesses. [Orange County Register, 5/29/12]

OC Register: Cap-And-Trade Program "Will Likely Kill Jobs, Chase Companies Out Of State And Impose $2 Billion In New Taxes." According to the Orange County Register:

California foolishly is going where Congress fears to tread, and where even European global warming zealots are backing away. Nevertheless, an unelected, virtually unaccountable board of government overseers has voted unanimously to impose mandatory cap-and-trade regulations on California businesses that will likely kill jobs, chase companies out of state and impose $2 billion in new taxes, all in a Quixotic quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a highly questionable, perhaps meaningless, goal. [Orange County Register, 10/25/11, emphasis added]

OC Register: AB 32 Won't "Solve Global Warming." According to the Orange County Register:

The governor wants to accomplish great things, many which should be left to the private sector, by doing almost the opposite of what should be done. Seeking to fix California, his policies will continue to break it.

Nothing more epitomizes his confusion than him lauding Assembly Bill 32, the state's preposterously named Global Warming Solution Act, which even its champions confess won't solve global warming - which increasingly is recognized as a nonthreat, anyway. His plan would drive up prices, favor economically inefficient technologies over those consumers can afford and prefer and impose a costly carbon cap-and-trade system, effectively a huge tax on energy generators and users. [Orange County Register, 1/19/12, emphasis added]

OC Register: Cap-And-Trade Bill Is "A Tax On Energy Users." According to the Orange County Register:

Perhaps most egregious is the Brown administration proceeding with its Draconian carbon cap-and-trade plan through the Air Resources Board. This is a tax on energy users through a government-run faux "market" in which businesses pay for the privilege of emitting CO2, something they've always done without paying. [Orange County Register, 8/26/11]

OC Register: "Mr. Brown's Air Resources Board" Is Getting Ready To Implement The Cap-And-Trade Bill. According to the Orange County Register:

Mr. Brown's Air Resources Board is ratcheting up costly new regulations and preparing an ill-advised cap-and-trade carbon-emissions auction to coerce private energy providers to do things the government's way. [Orange County Register, 5/11/12, emphasis added]

FACT 1: Studies Show Cap-And-Trade Is A Cost-Effective And Market-Based Strategy To Reduce Pollution

Nonpartisan Analysis: Cap-And-Trade Programs Reduce Pollution "At The Least Cost Possible." California's Legislative Analyst's Office, which provides nonpartisan fiscal and policy advice for the California Legislature, wrote that "market mechanisms" like a carbon tax or cap-and-trade provide carbon emission reductions "at the least cost possible" according to economic theory:

Parties that can reduce their emissions are likely to do so as long as it is cheaper than buying allowances at current prices. (When emissions reductions result in a party holding more allowances than it needs for compliance, excess allowances can be traded with others who find it less costly to buy allowances rather than reduce their emissions.) As with the carbon tax, the level of overall emissions reductions is achieved, in theory, at the least cost possible. This is because the allowance price provides an economic incentive to all regulated emissions sources to find the mix of emissions reductions and allowance purchases that minimize their costs.

[...]

Economic theory indicates that either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade approach has lower compliance costs for emitters collectively than direct regulatory measures.

[...]

The potential for lower total compliance costs under market mechanisms stems from the fact that the regulated emissions sources can be expected in many cases to have better information about which compliance strategies minimize costs for them than even the best-informed regulator could. Emissions sources facing relatively high costs to reduce emissions can potentially minimize their costs by choosing not to reduce their emissions, instead deciding to buy allowances (under cap-and-trade) or pay the tax (under the carbon tax). On the other hand, emissions sources that can reduce their emissions relatively cheaply are given an economic incentive to do so, as an alternative to buying allowances or paying the tax. [Legislative Analyst's Office, 2/9/12]

Pew: Existing Cap-And-Trade Programs Have Achieved Environmental Objectives At Low-Cost. According to a study by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change:

Studies that have evaluated the performance of these market-based approaches to environmental protection have found that they have achieved their environmental objectives and have done so at lower cost than conventional, command-and-control approaches. Estimates of cost savings range from seven percent to 96 percent, with more than half of studies showing that market-based programs cut the cost of regulation by well over 50 percent compared with command-and-control options. For example, the SO2 allowance trading program resulted in 33 percent cost savings--on the order of $1 billion annually (Ellerman, 2000) while reducing power-sector emissions from 15.7 million tons in 1990 to 7.6 million tons in 2008 (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010). The phase-down of leaded gasoline in the 1980s, which employed trading of environmental credits, was also successful in meeting its environmental targets, while yielding cost savings of about $250 million per year (Stavins 2003).

The evidence is incontrovertible--market-based approach to environmental protection can work, effectively achieving environmental targets and keeping costs to a minimum. [Pew Center on Global Climate Change, June 2010]

Cap-And-Trade Programs Provide The Lowest Cost Outcome By Seeking Out The Most Efficient Pollution Reduction Projects Within The Market. According to the International Emissions Trading Association:

By combining trading with a price for emitting CO2, cap-and-trade seeks out the most efficient reduction projects within the market, delivering a lowest cost outcome. Emissions trading has been applied to the problem of sulfur emissions from power stations in the US, where the overall cost of meeting environmental targets has been much lower than anticipated. [International Emissions Trading Association, accessed 6/22/12]

Previously Implemented Cap-And-Trade Programs Have Come In Under Initial Regulatory Compliance Cost Estimates. According to a fact sheet by the Environmental Protection Agency:

Acid Rain Program Implementation and Compliance strategies that were not anticipated at the Program's inception have cut estimates of the Acid Rain Program's annual cost estimates to $3 billion in 2010, 50% of the Program's cost estimated by EPA in 1990. The current estimate recognizes that some switching to lower sulfur coal would have occurred in the absence of Title IV. Railroad deregulation lowered the cost of transporting coal from Wyoming's Powder River Basin to electric plants in the Midwest and adaptation of power plant boilers to use lower sulfur coal was less costly than projected. [Environmental Protection Agency, accessed 6/25/12]

FACT 2: Consumers Are Expected To Save Money As A Result Of AB 32

Cost Analysis By The California Air Resources Board Found That Due To AB 32 Low Income Households Will Save Around $400 Per Household By 2020 As A Result Of AB 32. According to the California Air Resources Board:

Another important factor to consider when analyzing the impact of the Scoping Plan on households is how it will affect household expenditures. As indicated in Table 28, analysis based on the modeling projections estimates a savings (i.e., reduced expenditures) of around $400 per household in 2020 for low-income households under both federal poverty guideline definitions. [California Air Resources Board, December 2008]

ARB Analysis: Middle Income Households Will Save Around $500 Per Household By 2020 As A Result Of AB 32. According to the California Air Resources Board:

As shown in Table 28, the analysis projects a net-savings in annual household expenditures of about $500 in 2020 for middle-income households. These savings are driven by the emergence of greater energy efficiencies that will be implemented as a result of the plan. [California Air Resources Board, December 2008]

ARB Analysis: AB 32 Small Businesses Will Have A Small But Positive Economic Impact. According to the California Air Resources Board:

Recent analysis from Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3) forecasts that a package of greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures similar to those recommended in this Plan would deliver a five percent decrease in electricity expenditures for the average California electricity customer relative to business-as-usual in 2020. This projection is based on the assumption that increases in electricity prices will be more than offset by the continued expansion of energy efficiency measures and that more efficient technologies will be developed and implemented. For purpose of this analysis, expenditures on natural gas are assumed to remain the same, balancing the projected 29 percent decrease in natural gas consumption in California with the model's projected natural gas price increase of almost 9 percent.

Based on this assessment, implementation of the Scoping Plan will likely have minor but positive impacts on small businesses in the state. These benefits are attributable primarily to the measures in the plan that will deliver significantly greater energy and fuel efficiencies. Even when higher per unit energy prices are taken into account, these efficiencies will decrease overall energy expenditures for small businesses. Additionally, as previously described, the California economy is projected to experience robust economic growth between now and 2020 as AB 32 is implemented. Small businesses will experience many of the benefits associated with this growth in the form of more jobs, greater production activity, and rising personal income. [California Air Resources Board, December 2008]

An Alternative Estimate Found That Absent Net Savings, The Annual Cost To Households Would Be Small. According to a study by Matthew E. Kahn of UCLA and NBER, Professor at the Institute of the Environment which was responding to a study by Varshney and Dennis H. Tootelian (VT) of the costs to consumers associated with AB 32:

The VT study asks an excellent question; "How Will Small Businesses be Affected by AB 32?" To answer this question, they attempt to quantify how the average California household will be affected. If households face a high regulatory tax due to AB32 then they will have less disposable income to purchase the products from small businesses. VT conclude that AB 32 will make each household's real purchasing power decline by $3,857 per year. In this review, I have highlighted the flaws in their logic. I would not be surprised if the true household annual cost is closer to $300. [A Review of Cost of AB 32 on California Small Businesses, 9/21/09]

  • Another Estimate Found That The Cost Would Be Hundreds Of Dollars Per Year, Not Thousands Of Dollars. According to a study by James L Sweeney, Professor of Management Science and Engineering and Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford University which also refuted the Varshney/Tootelian study:

In short, the Varshney/Tootelian report greatly overestimates the cost of AB 32 implementation for all of the direct consumer impacts. Correcting the errors of this report, but not drawing on other analyses other than cited here, suggests that the impact on consumers would be measured in the order of at most hundreds of dollars per year, not thousands of dollars. The Varshney/Tootelian report seems to have overestimated these costs through fundamental conceptual and methodological errors by a factor of at least 10. [Stanford.edu, 2/16/10]

FACT 3: Already Implemented Cap-And-Trade Programs Have Resulted In Net Economic Benefits

A Similar Cap-And-Trade Program For Acid Rain Pollutants Has Yielded $122 Billion In Benefits. According to a fact sheet from the Environmental Protection Agency:

$122 Billion in Benefits for Human Health, Visibility, and Natural Resources

Annual health benefits in 2010 of the Acid Rain Program's reductions of fine PM and ozone, valued at $119 billion, [...] along with the Program's improvements in visibility and natural resources, valued at $2.6 billion. Other benefit categories quantified, but not yet monetized, include significant reduction in chronically acidified lakes and streams in the eastern United States. [Environmental Protection Agency, accessed 6/20/12]

  • The Benefit To Cost Ratio Of The Acid Rain Cap-And-Trade Program Is 40-To-1. According to a fact sheet from the Environmental Protection Agency:

A new analysis of the Acid Rain Program, established by Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, estimates annual benefits of the program in 2010 at $122 billion and costs for that year at only $3 billion (2000$)--a 40-to-1 benefit/cost ratio. [Environmental Protection Agency, accessed 6/20/12]

A Cap-And-Trade Program For Carbon Dioxide Emissions In 10 Northeastern And Mid-Atlantic U.S. States Added More Than $1.6 Billion To The Regional Economy In Just Over Three Years. According to a study by the financial and economic consulting firm Analysis Group and published in the Electricity Journal:

The study, which will be the focus of an article in The Electricity Journal (December 2011), examines the impact of investments made by 10 states that participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, in its first three years of existence. It is the first report to measure the economic impact of such a program across all states in the region by focusing on the actual impacts of economic activity, using a rigorous "follow the money" approach and well-established modeling tools and methods.

[...]

Key findings include:

  • The regional economy gains more than $1.6 billion in economic value added (reflecting the difference between total revenues in the overall economy, less the cost to produce goods and services)
  • Customers save nearly $1.1 billion on electricity bills, and an additional $174 million on natural gas and heating oil bills, for a total of $1.3 billion in savings over the next decade through installation of energy efficiency measures using funding from RGGI auction proceeds to date
  • 16,000 jobs are created region wide
  • Reduced demand for fossil fuels keeps more than $765 million in the local economy
  • Power plant owners experience $1.6 billion in lower revenue over time, although they overall had higher revenues than costs as a result of RGGI during the 2009-2011 period.

[Analysis Group, 11/15/11]

Analysis Of The Benefits Of AB 32 Found That 50,000 Jobs For Low Income Workers And 40,000 For Middle Income Works Will Result From The Plan. According to the California Air Resources Board:

At the same time, the analysis projects an increase of approximately 50,000 jobs available for lower-income workers relative to business-as-usual as a result of implementing the Plan. The largest employment gains come in the retail, food service, agriculture, and health care fields. A decline in such jobs is projected in the retail gasoline sector due to the overall projected decrease in output from this sector. This decline, however, is more than offset by the increases experienced in other areas.

[...]

In terms of how jobs for middle-income households would be impacted, the modeling indicates a slight overall increase of almost 40,000 in 2020. [California Air Resources Board, December 2008]

FACT 4: 97 Percent Of Climate Scientists Agree That Man Made Pollution Is Causing Temperatures To Rise

Recent Warming Trend Is Established By Temperature Measurements And Other Observations. The National Climatic Data Center explains that the "warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations":

Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change. A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends. The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center, accessed 1/14/11]

Ninety-Seven Percent Of Climatologists Who Are Active In Research Agreed That Humans Play A Role In Global Warming. According to an article in Science Daily:

In trying to overcome criticism of earlier attempts to gauge the view of earth scientists on global warming and the human impact factor, Doran and Kendall Zimmerman sought the opinion of the most complete list of earth scientists they could find, contacting more than 10,200 experts around the world listed in the 2007 edition of the American Geological Institute's Directory of Geoscience Departments.

Experts in academia and government research centers were e-mailed invitations to participate in the on-line poll conducted by the website questionpro.com. Only those invited could participate and computer IP addresses of participants were recorded and used to prevent repeat voting. Questions used were reviewed by a polling expert who checked for bias in phrasing, such as suggesting an answer by the way a question was worded. The nine-question survey was short, taking just a few minutes to complete.

Two questions were key: have mean global temperatures risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and has human activity been a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.

About 90 percent of the scientists agreed with the first question and 82 percent the second.

In analyzing responses by sub-groups, Doran found that climatologists who are active in research showed the strongest consensus on the causes of global warming, with 97 percent agreeing humans play a role. Petroleum geologists and meteorologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 and 64 percent respectively believing in human involvement. Doran compared their responses to a recent poll showing only 58 percent of the public thinks human activity contributes to global warming. [Science Daily, 1/19/09]

From the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change:

Global average temperature 1850-2009

[Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Change, accessed 1/14/11]

IPCC: Most Recent Warming Is Very Likely Due To Increase In Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change -- a scientific body compiling research from thousands of scientists -- concluded in 2007 that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level" and that "most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [defined in the report as a '>90%' chance] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic [human-caused] GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations." [Pages 8 and 17, Synthesis Report, Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, 2007]

FACT 5: AB 32 Mandates That ARB Must Create And Implement A Plan Into Place To Reduce Greehouse Gas Emissions

AB 32 Mandated That The California ARB Must Develop A Plan To Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2020 To 1990 Levels. According to the Air Resources Board:

On September 27, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Núñez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006). The event marked a watershed moment in California's history. By requiring in law a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, California set the stage for its transition to a sustainable, clean energy future. This historic step also helped put climate change on the national agenda, and has spurred action by many other states.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) is the lead agency for implementing AB 32, which set the major milestones for establishing the program. ARB met the first milestones in 2007: developing a list of discrete early actions to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions, assembling an inventory of historic emissions, establishing greenhouse gas emission reporting requirements, and setting the 2020 emissions limit.

ARB must develop a Scoping Plan outlining the State's strategy to achieve the 2020 greenhouse gas emissions limit. This Scoping Plan, developed by ARB in coordination with the Climate Action Team (CAT), proposes a comprehensive set of actions designed to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in California, improve our environment, reduce our dependence on oil, diversify our energy sources, save energy, create new jobs, and enhance public health. [California Air Resources Board, December 2008]

The 2006 AB 32 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Law Required That The California ARB Be The Lead Agency In Implementing The Act. According to the Environmental Defense Fund:

AB 32 requires California to lower greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, the equivalent of taking approximately 28 million cars off the nation's roads. To meet reduction targets, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the lead agency responsible for implementing the act, is following a blueprint known as the AB 32 Climate Change Scoping Plan. [Environmental Defense Fund, accessed 6/22/12]

ARB Is Responsible For Developing The Cap-And-Trade Program, Which Is One Part Of The Overall AB 32 Goal. According to the California Air Resources Board scoping plan:

The recommendations in this plan were shaped by input and advice from ARB's partners on the Climate Action Team, as well as the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC), the Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee (ETAAC), and the Market Advisory Committee (MAC). Like the Draft Scoping Plan, the strength of this plan lies in the comprehensive array of emission reduction approaches and tools that it recommends.

Key elements of California's recommendations for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 include:

  • Expanding and strengthening existing energy efficiency programs as well as building and appliance standards;
  • Achieving a statewide renewables energy mix of 33 percent;
  • Developing a California cap-and-trade program that links with other Western Climate Initiative partner programs to create a regional market system;
  • Establishing targets for transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions for regions throughout California, and pursuing policies and incentives to achieve those targets; Executive Summary Scoping Plan ES-4
  • Adopting and implementing measures pursuant to existing State laws and policies, including California's clean car standards, goods movement measures, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and
  • Creating targeted fees, including a public goods charge on water use, fees on high global warming potential gases, and a fee to fund the administrative costs of the State's long term commitment to AB 32 implementation. [California Air Resources Board, December 2008]

FACT 6: Cap-And-Trade Plans Have Enjoyed Bi-Partisan Support Within And Outside Of California

Cap-And-Trade Program For Carbon Dioxide In U.S. Northeast Was Championed By NY Republican Governor George Pataki. From the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:

Governor George E. Pataki announced an historic regional agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, an important step in protecting our environment and meeting the significant challenge of climate change. Under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), seven northeast states have agreed to implement a cap-and-trade program to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which are a major contributor to global warming. This is the first mandatory cap-and-trade program for CO2 emission in U.S. history. In addition to New York, other states signing the regional memorandum of understanding (MOU) for RGGI include: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont. The MOU also allows other states to join the regional program.

The Governor emphasized the importance of enacting a regional pact to better protect our environment and promote new energy-efficient technologies at the lowest possible cost. "Our environment is a vibrant, living resource that needs to be protected, and I am proud that a coalition of northeast states is taking action to address this major environmental challenge," Governor Pataki said. "Under this program, we will use a market-based system to curtail harmful CO2 emissions and spur the development of innovative technologies that will reduce our dependence on foreign energy, strengthen our economy and take meaningful steps in the fight against climate change." [New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, January 2006]

Harvard Study: Cap-And-Trade Program For Acid Rain Was Conceived By George H.W. Bush Administration According to a report by Harvard University on the effectiveness of Cap-And-Trade:

The 1990 SO2 cap-and-trade program was conceived by the administration of President George H. W. Bush and was widely viewed as a success. Yet cap and trade became a lightning rod for congressional opposition to climate legislation from 2009 through 2010. [Harvard Environmental Economics Program, January 2012]

President George W. Bush Pushed The Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) In 2005. According to a report by Harvard University on the effectiveness of Cap-And-Trade initiatives:

The program's [Clean Air Act] long-term goal of reducing annual nationwide utility emissions to 8.95 million tons was achieved in 2007; by 2010 emissions had declined further, to 5.1 million tons, in response to the related Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), which was promulgated in 2005 under the George W. Bush Administration.

[...]

As discussed above, provisions in the Clean Air Act concerning ambient air standards led the EPA under the George W. Bush Administration to develop CAIR, which attempted to reconcile geography specific remedies with national allowance trading. The courts determined that this attempt was inconsistent with the Clean Air Act and vacated CAIR. [Harvard Environmental Economics Program, January 2012]

California Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Was A Strong Supporter Of California's Cap-And-Trade Program. According to the Los Angeles Times:

Cap-and-trade is the centerpiece of AB 32, California's historic climate change law that mandates a reduction in carbon pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. Beginning in 2013 the state's largest carbon emitters will be required to meet the caps or buy credits if they cannot.

A second phase of compliance begins in 2015 and is expected to include 85% of California's emissions sources.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a strong supporter of the original legislation, applauded the vote in a statement released Thursday evening.

"Today's adoption of a cap-and-trade program is a major milestone for California's continued leadership on reducing the world's greenhouse gases. As I said both when we signed the legislation in 2006, and when we fought to protect it last year when Texas oil companies attempted to overturn it with Proposition 23, the most critical phase in the fight against climate change is diligently, aggressively, and correctly implementing this law." [Los Angeles Times, 10/21/11]

Next 10 Press Release: 64% Of Voters Are Solidly Behind Implementing California's Cap-And-Trade Plan. According to a press release by Next 10:

More than one month after voters soundly defeated a ballot measure that would have suspended California's efforts to address climate change indefinitely, new research shows that state's proposed emissions trading or cap-and-trade program will create minimal economic impact, and California voters are solidly behind (64 percent) implementing this new program.

[...]

The top findings of the Field Research Corporation poll, completed November 11-23, 2010 among a random sample of 493 registered voters, are:

  • 66 percent of California voters favor strongly (44 percent) or somewhat (22 percent) the 2006 law to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming (AB 32), up from 58 percent who backed the law when Field Research last polled on this topic in March.
  • 64 percent of California voters favor strongly (34 percent) or somewhat (30 percent) creating an emissions trading program wherein businesses would be required to obtain tradable permits to continue emitting greenhouse gas emissions.

[Next 10, 12/9/10, via PRNewswire]

A Challenge To California's Cap-And-Trade Law --Proposition 23 -- Lost By A Wide Margin. According to the Los Angeles Times:

The fight over Proposition 23, the ballot initiative to suspend California's global warming law, "will definitely be a David versus Goliath battle," Steve Maviglio, spokesman for the opponents told a reporter in September. "Our slingshot versus their oily club."

From the get-go, that's how environmentalists characterized their struggle against Prop. 23 which lost by 61.3% to 38.7% with 96.9% of precincts counted. [Los Angeles Times, 11/2/10]

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