On a day opening with bad news concerning the “Jobs Report” and the DOW reporting it was opening150points down, Stu Varney welcomed Duffy on his program for a quick interview concerning California “green jobs”.
LISTEN NOW: L.A.broke?? Think again- $120M solar panel project Solar experiment gone bad in the U.S.A. What a job–$82,000 to apply weather stripping in drafty CA homes The manufacturing experts of solar panels….China Van Jones “green” training program for Richmond, CA California – the most anti business state in America Subscribe via RSS Subscribe via […]
Listen Now: Duffy’s has fun with crazy Al’s Global Warming break down McClintock’s “highlight reel” on Cap and Trade in CA Governor Brown gambling with our dollars to meet the budget–Could Cap and Trade be he and the Democratic legislators windfall??? John Bryson, Obama’s Commerce Secretary nominee–the guy who never met a solar panel or […]
By Warren Duffy
On Thursday, May 10, a rally sponsored by Citizens Against Common Core was held in Sacramento on the steps of the Capitol. What is Common Core? In a nutshell, a new top-down national (some say, international) controversial educational program that California is adopting in 2014 for students in grades K through 12.
CSCOPE is also a highly controversial educational scheme originally approved and administered in the Texas school systems by a progressive group of educators operating under the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative. This curriculum has been teaching students such things as the Boston Tea Party was actually a terrorist attack, today’s Muslim terrorists are really freedom fighters and capitalism as an economic system is passé and must be replaced by communism. A Texas state investigation was launched earlier this year when a teacher at a school in Lumberton, Texas asked female students to dress in Islamic burqas and stand before the class, while she explained from the CSCOPE lesson plan how Muslim terrorists were in fact freedom fighters.
Those in attendance at the Sacramento rally were not only shocked to hear such reports but how such a liberal education program could have taken root in the conservative state of Texas. If that can happen in Texas, it can happen anywhere in America.
After CSCOPE’s introduction into the Texas classrooms and reviewing curriculum content, parents complained the lesson plans were “riddled with cultural relativism and downright leftist assumptions, particularly in history and social studies”. A statewide protest movement began. Following a lengthy public outcry from the citizens of Texas, members of the collaborative that administers the online curriculum system met for three days last weekend and announced publicly on May 20, the CSCOPE lesson plans will be eliminated by August 31 of this year, prior to the start of the Fall semester.
The Common Core program to be administered in California is an educational plan orchestrated by representatives of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governors Association and various members of the Obama administration and teachers’ union representatives. Many parents object that Common Core will operate through computers that will collect private and personal information about students and their families. Teachers complain they are being forced to teach a program that has never been tested on public school students. However, teachers have also been made aware that if they protest, they are in danger of losing their jobs.
Some objections focus on the literature portion of the Common Core program that reduces classic books from 80% of the school curriculum to only half. Said Anthony Esolen, a professor of Renaissance English Literature at Providence College in Rhode Island, “What appalls me most about the standards … is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women. Frankly, I do not wish to be governed by people whose minds and hearts have been stunted by a strictly utilitarian miseducation…. Do not train them to become apparatchiks in a vast political and economic system, but raise them to be human beings, honoring what is good and right, cherishing what is beautiful, and pledging themselves to their families, their communities, their churches, and their country.”
California has tinkered with many progressive education programs over the years, ranging from New Math to New, New Math and whole language reading. At one time, urban educators wanted to include a street-slang language Ebonics into the public school classroom. There was also the infamous CLAS Test – the California Learning Assessment System that was kept secret from parents until it was introduced into the classroom and word leaked out the program leaned more on opinion, not actual learning.
For example, controversial element of the program described a scene where students were to choose who would be offered a spot in a lifeboat after a passenger ship sunk. With not enough room for every passenger to board the lifeboat, children were asked to choose who would board and who would not. When it was learned the correct response was an older man should be cast off because he had already lived his life, parents objected, refused to permit their children to take the CLAS program and very quietly, CLAS exited the state.
Parents now fear the national Common Core teaching program could return similar techniques to the classroom. A protest movement similar to one that eliminated CSCOPE in Texas has been launched across the country. Many organizations such as Truthinamericaneducation.com, Two Moms Against Common Core, Hoosiers Against Common Core and Citizens Among Common Core are just a few mentioned who hard at work pushing the agenda to stop Common Core.
Former California school teacher, Orlean Koehle taught speech, drama and journalism in the state’s classrooms for years. After raising six children and returning to the classroom she was shocked by the many reforms and changes. This prompted her to write, “Common Core – A Trojan Horse for Education Reform” In it, she observes, “Federal government’s control over education can turn into something that has already been tried in other countries where our schools and universities are no longer centers for education, but now centers for propaganda and indoctrination.”
Warren Duffy is the author of “The Green Tsunami-A Tidal Wave of Eco-Babble Drowning Us All”.
AB245 is a bill that would reverse the secrecy that currently exists around the cap-and-trade auctions of the California Air Resources Board. As CalWatchdog.com reported last August, the Legislature “nixed” proposals to mandate accountability under Sections 11120-11132 of the California government code, which is the Bagley Keene Open Meeting Act.
AB 245 is sponsored by Assembly Member Shannon Grove of Bakersfield. The bill would open all carbon auctions to public scrutiny.
Europe’s problems with cap and trade show why public scrutiny is necessary.
California’s February cap-and-trade carbon auction by CARB went off as planned. But a similar auction in Europe was canceled for the first time in eight years as the reserve price was not met.
The EU’s historic cancellation of a carbon-credit auction is the result of years of a sluggish business economy. Many businesses were forced to curtail production because of the economic turndown and that, in turn, dropped the use of fuel and the production of polluting carbon exhausts. That put a damper on the need for businesses to buy carbon credits. And the floor literally fell out from under the cap-and-trade market.
In 2012 alone, the price per carbon credit dropped 49 percent, one half of its asking price. In the last five years, the price has plummeted by an astounding 90 percent and carbon credits are now virtually worthless pieces of paper. Such are the vagaries of the auctioning of non-tangible assets.
For example, when commodities like wheat, corn or oil are traded, there is a supply of tangible assets investors purchase. Even if the price drops, you still hold the asset.
In the non-tangible world of “carbon,” only credit slips are being traded. They are of no value unless there is a strong demand by someone having scarce supplies. For five straight years, that has not been the case and businesses have a glut of unused carbon credits. As more credits came onto the market with each new auction, the price per unit started to free fall, causing this week’s auction cancellation.
Carbon credit auctions are the central ingredient in both the EU’s and California’s cap-and-trade systems.
California held its first two quarterly auctions in the state’s history in Nov. 2012 and Feb. 2013. Though response to those auctions has been mixed, the results have been generally disappointing. Revenue figures from both auctions vary. But when combining the income from both, they fall extremely short of lofty goals of pre-auction predictions and the dollar figure Gov. Jerry Brown plugged into his fiscal 2012-13 budget. Together, the two auctions were supposed to net the state $2 billion; but they raised a bit less than $500 million, combined.
Last fall, the Legislature squabbled with the Governor over how an estimated $1 billion of revenue from each auction would be spent. While legislators insisted on overseeing the expenditures of the “windfall” profits, the governor expected at least a sliver of the green pie revenues to help fund his California High-Speed Rail Authority project in the Central Valley.
Depending on a wide range of variables, California could potentially fall into the same glut-of-market trap on carbon credits. If, for example, the state continues to auction carbon credits four times each year, the supply could overwhelm the demand and drive prices below the floor price set. That price is set by CARB. How the state might implement reforms to the auction process to avert an auction cancellation has yet to be discussed publicly by CARB officials. But then, CARB is known for not discussing much about cap-and-trade carbon auctions publicly.
However, the results from the first two CARB auctions contain a few cautionary alarms for state regulators and legislators. While CARB officials deemed the first auction a glowing success, later revelations showed that one of the bidders, Edison International, mistakenly purchased more than 70 percent of all of the credits CARB auctioned. The asking price set by CARB was $10 a ton and the top price bid at auction was only about 11 cents over the floor price. No one has offered any analysis of how successful the auction would have been had Edison not made their astoundingly large “blunder.”
The second auction proved a shade more successful from both revenue and operational viewpoints. At least that’s the analysis of the auction according to CARB. The cap-and-trade auctions are veiled in strict secrecy and no information is available to anyone, not even participants. Bidders don’t know whom they are bidding against and prices are not publicized to other bidders. Participants simply submit a bid to CARB, bids are accepted in order, with the highest price getting first choice. That continues until all the credits are sold.
To protect their veil of secrecy, CARB has openly threatened businesses that might be tempted to reveal how much they paid for credits or how many they purchased. By not complying to these demands by CARB, a business would be banished from future auctions.
AB 245, if enacted, would cut through the smog to let citizens see what’s really going on.
Warren Duffy is an award-winning talk show host, columnist and author, with an Honorary Doctorate in Theology from the California Pacific School of Theology. Check out his new book, “The Green Tsunami: The Tidal Wave of Eco-Babble Drowning Us All.”
This article appeared in CalWatchdog – March 30, 2013
When you flip on a light switch in California you are using the most expensive electric power in America. Your electric oven and water heater may also be gobbling up mandated green electric power that costs everybody, including the electric companies, a great deal more money to produce.
In their all-knowing wisdom, the state’s green government in Sacramento has issued an edict that by 2020, a least 33 per cent of all California’s electric power sold to customers must be obtained from “renewable” energy sources. This “renewable portfolio standard” means more solar, wind and geothermal plants within the state; but, in the end, at what cost?
So, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) gave an update to state legislators on their very ambitious green goal for companies purchasing renewable energy. From California’s “big-three” electric power companies (Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric) the bottom line was clear. This insistence on renewable energy production for the state’s electric customers and power companies means both are paying through the nose.
The reports don’t detail how bad monthly electric bills are being impacted. However, the officials at PG&E estimate an increase in their monthly bills from 1 to 2% per year through 2020. That means a total increase of 8 to 16% over the next eight years.
The three PUC reports compare the cost of electricity power purchased from the old fashioned, clean burning coal or natural gas fired generators to those costs associated with purchasing renewable energy. Last year, depending on the length of a purchase power contract, the cost of the old power listed at 7.7 to 9.3 cents per kilowatt hour. When compared to an average 2012 renewable contract, that makes the cost 6 to 28 percent cheaper.
Not only are customers paying through the nose, but the PUC also lists some interesting costs to the big three energy companies. In order for them to comply with the state’s renewable standards, San Diego Gas and Electric spent last year a mere $170 Million in compliance fee s. However, PG&E spent a whopping $1 Billion, while Southern California Edison finished in first, shelling out $1.34 Billion in compliance costs.
With the state government’s “33% by 2020” goal in mind, the PUC reports also show the success of the electric companies implementing legislators demand for renewable sources. PG&E is at the bottom of the list with only about 19% of their power coming from alternative sources. Edison obtained the best marks with 20.6% of their total power coming from renewable sources, while San Diego was in the middle at 20.3%. That means they are 2/3 of the way to meeting this big 2020 goal.
The PUC did inform legislators that the price of renewable energy in California is expected to decline as more solar, wind and geothermal plants are coming on line. San Diego Power, for example, announced this week that two huge Imperial County solar power plants located near El Centro are about to start generating electricity as early as the this Spring. Imperial Solar Energy South is a massive 950-acre solar plant near the Mexican border. The construction project announced that the one-millionth solar panel in the gigantic field was installed this month. The plant must have a total of 2 Million garage-door-size solar panels installed before operating at full capacity.
Federal subsidies provide a 30% tax credit for investments in large industrial size solar and wind plants, including provisions for accelerated cost recovery. While that funding is paid for by taxpayers and eventually the electric customers, those costs were not included on any of the PUC spread sheets.
In the final analysis, combining the three PUC reports concludes:
How many businesses being impacted by those higher electricity costs are relocating out of the state and taking jobs with them is anybody’s guess. No figures of that nature were in any of the PUC reports. But those of us in California know, even as Sacramento is in need of more and more money to pay the bills, legislative action such as the “renewable portfolio standard” is causing companies to exit the state daily. And due to this stranglehold on businesses, fewer new firms are opting to set up shop in the once Golden State.
One thing the three reports cannot deny….going “green” is about money…..this is an expensive proposition for everyone involved.
In 2008, when the San Francisco to Anaheim “Bullet Train” proposal was brought to the voters, the idea sounded some what straightforward and even a bit futuristic. After all, the plan presented was only $34 Billion dollars from California taxpayers who would receive a “Japanese-style”, 220-mile-an-hour train ride between the two cities by the year 2020. Once we removed our “rose colored glasses”, the reality of government’s ability to tackle any project in a clear-cut manner came to light. Over the past five years that simple plan has gotten very complex and extremely expensive.
First, there have been four price changes in four years…all on an upward trend. Last year, Governor Brown intervened. The High Speed Rail Authority’s (HSRA) grandiose plans that had sky rocketed to a whopping $98-billion was pared down to $68.4 Billion and a 2032 completion date. However, in order to bring the cost down, the HSRA was forced to accept a new plan where the bullet train would have to share tracks with low speed trains in and around its two destination cities. What the average speed of this new train will be has yet to be revealed – but we can be certain it will not be the “speeding bullet” of 220-miles an hour station to station as originally touted.
The Governor’s plan added another tweak to the construction plans; the rail line had to be built in phases. For example, Phase One would be a 130-mile segment connecting the suburbs of Bakersfield to the desert town of Madera in the Central Valley. To get that segment of the line finished the cost would be $8.6 Billion, a full one-fourth of the original cost of the entire train line.
Unless I am grossly mistaken, California does not have $8.6 Billion lying in a bank somewhere. But then again the park authority did discover a mysterious bank account a year or so ago, anything is possible….. Except, just this week, the HSRA announced plans to sell bonds to raise the nearly $9 Billion, which is political-speak for borrowing money, long term, from investors. In turn, the investors will receive their $6.8 billion returned to them with interest – lots of interest, $700 Million a year in interest only payments and for a lot of years – 35 years to be exact.
The plan goes something like this. The feds will provide California with $3.3 Billion (which could otherwise be used for tours of the White House, or some other non consequential item) of matching funds for the first phase of the project. Since the state has no funds to match, the High Speed Rail folks voted 5 – 0 at their recent board meeting, to package the loan…in a clever way.
They will borrow (issue bonds to lenders) $3.7 Billion, thus qualifying for the matching funds from D.C. Here is where things get interesting. $2.6 Billion will be used to build the first 30 miles of high speed rail tracks in the middle of the Central Valley. The remainder of the money will go to repairing existing tracks used by today’s commuter trains.
A closer look at the complete financing package for the 35 year loan reveals that a 30 mile stretch of tracks will cost taxpayers $700 Million a year for 35 years, just to pay the interest-only on the first phase of the loan. In three and a half decades, total interest payments will be $5.6 Billion plus the original $8.6 Billion dollar loan amount or a total loan payback of $14.2 Billion. Yes friends, for that whopping price tag, taxpayers get 30 miles of train tracks with no engine or coaches yet on the tracks. And to date, not one piece of property has been purchased for the route.
Once the HSRA has finished the first 30 mile project, it must raise the remainder of the $59.4-billion to finish the tracks. And, for the entire project to get approved it must complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR}), apply for more than 120 construction permits from various agencies, purchase approximately 1,100 parcels of land, and settle several outstanding lawsuits already filed in the courts to stop the construction. At least two court hearings are scheduled this Spring contesting both the environmental impacts of the train route and questioning whether the state is actually conforming the entire project to the concept voters approved when Prop 1-A was passed five years ago.
One engineering firm estimates the state would be required to spend $3.5 Million a day, for 365 days a year to complete the project on time. If that were accomplished, the HSRA would set a new American record for the “fastest rate of construction in U.S. transportation history”. In April, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst office analyzed Governor Brown’s new plan for the bullet train and in a ten-page report, revealed the project “relies on speculative funding”. One might think that is something of an understatement. Assuming Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, can send the state the $3.3 Billion from Washington and the state will borrow the phase one construction money, where will the remaining $55 Billion come from for the entire project?
William Kempton, CEO of the Orange County Transportation Authority examined the HSRA proposal last May and clearly found that because tracks would be shared with lower speed rails, the project no longer a bullet train. He further found that the route will stop in Los Angeles where there is no high speed route into Anaheim or Orange County, as was originally envisioned. Elaine Howle, the California State Auditor, examined the latest version of the Bullet Train and discerned that the plan omits $97 Billion in operating and maintenance costs. That alone is a glaring omission.
Kings County officials filed a lawsuit in 2011 claiming all of the current plans violate the ballot measure that approved the train …it costs a lot more and doesn’t deliver the vision of a Japanese Style high speed system that voters were sold. That case is still working it way through the courts.
As the California Cap and Trade auctions began to take shape, Governor Brown proposed
the auction revenues could be used to fund part of the project. But after the first two auctions were held, one in November 2012 and the other in February 2013, the state’s anticipated revenues of $1 Billion raised at each auction fell short, netting the state less than $300 Million. The idea was scrapped.
Undeterred, by all the naysayer’s, the High Speed Rail Authority, with the solid support of State Senate leader Daryll Steinberg and Governor Brown, continues to push forward with the project. However, what if the rest of the money isn’t raised or some of the other substantial hurdles confronting the project can’t be cleared….then what?
Quite simply, California will wind up with 30 miles of train tracks in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley while taxpayers pay off a 35 year construction loan – or rather “the just approved HRSA bond issue”.
In the end, even if the entire project is completed under the latest revisions, commuters will then be left with a fundamental choice. Do I drive to the train station, park and board the train which isn’t really a bullet train and travel from L.A. to San Francisco for an anticipated time of over 2 hours, or, do I go to the airport, hop a commuter flight and arrive at my destination 70 minutes later?
Many of you have heard Warren Duffy speak on the subject of California Cap and Trade at numerous California venues and in radio and television interviews. Duffy has expanded his message to clearly out the truth behind Cap and Trade, Agenda 21, Al Gore and so much more in his new book, “The Green Tsunami” – A Tidal Wave of Eco-Babble Drowning Us All. The book is not full of “eco-babble”, but rather facts about how and where it all started with global environmentalists taking over all facets of our lives.
Is YOUR city taking your taxes and sending them to the U.N. to be a member of ICELI?
What is “stack and pack”?
Is the government watching you through your Smart Meter? Do you even know if you have a Smart Meter at your home?
Why are so many businesses fleeing from California and either filing bankruptcy or setting up shop in a more business friendly state?
Who is CARB and why do they have so much power?
Get Educated, Motivated and Activated about what is happening, not only in California, but throughout our Nation and what YOU can do to stop it. It is time to take back our cities, states and Nation and return to what our Founding Fathers envisioned for the great country God had given them….”One Nation Under God” – the United States of America!
The book can be purchased in paperback and Kindle at the following sites:
This article appeared in the March 16 Edition of the “Orange County Register”
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Warren Duffy, founder and president, Friends for Saving California Jobs; former host of the “Duffy and Company radio program on KKLA/FM. Admittedly, I’m an old guy who can remember when gas prices were 50 cents a gallon.
|Gas prices in Garden Grove during October 2012. (Register file photo)|
However, I don’t understand why gas prices are so high, and nobody can really explain the truth about why. Back in the 1950s, when 50-cent gas was pretty standard in America, not only did they have a uniformed guy who ran to our car when we went over the bell-ringer cable at the gas station, he also pumped our gas, washed our windows and checked the oil. And when he brought our change out to the car to end the transaction, he gave us free road maps and S&H Green Stamps as a bonus. Now we do all of that ourselves, and the price is $4 to $5 a gallon with no prizes. What happened between the good old days and today?
Why, at the height of the price-at-the-pump gouging and a poor economy, has Sacramento so thoughtfully decided to raise the state sales tax on gasoline beginning in April? Is Sacramento operating our state government from a parallel universe? No wonder businesses and taxpayers are packing up the U-Haul and running for the borders, leaving this bankrupt state in their rear view mirror.
And with a poor economy and consumer prices steadily increasing, Washington D.C. is now discussing borders? How many different ways does that need to be discussed?
It was again in the 1950s when the U.S. military assisted border enforcement between North and South Korea. Let’s see. Keep the enemy from sneaking back into South Korea, so build a fence with watchtowers and man them with fellows using binoculars. A few yards past the border, there are big steel plates in the road just in case a very large tank “slipped” through. The border guards would call ahead to the plate pullers, the iron plates were pulled aside revealing a very big hole that the very large tank fell into.
It may sound simplistic, but things like this have worked in Korea and Israel. But if we build a fence in the United States to protect our country, we are called a “cold and heartless people.”
Both the feds and state continue to take more money from the “worker bees” to provide 99 weeks of pay to the unemployed.For many, these checks are bigger than the paycheck they would earn at an entry-level job.Where is the incentive to get off unemployment and go back to work? I just don’t get it.
Furthermore, we defeated communism after the long, post-World War II Cold War. Communism has collapsed – or led to abject poverty – everywhere it has been tried. But in the 21st century, our leaders in D.C. and Sacramento seem to be selling us on more and more socialism schemes that either redistribute our wealth or give the state more power over our individual lives, taking away something we used to call “freedom.” Are there really no other solutions?
One thing is for sure – whether it is Washington, D.C., or Sacramento, California, the two-party politics model isn’t working.
For example, take the recent Los Angeles mayor’s race. Eric Garcetti and Wendy Greuel are facing a run-off election. In this example, both candidates are from the same political party, sat in the same City Hall for the last 25 years, and the city is broke. But now they want the people to support them because they are suddenly committed to fiscal reform?
Forgive me, but I think that, if we lie to the government, we go to jail. However, if our elected government representatives lie to us, we seem to re-elect them to office, give them chauffeur-driven cars and expense accounts, send them on junkets all over the world, ensconce them in marble offices with private bathrooms and give them staff and security to pamper them wherever they go.
And we wonder why the politicians are so out of touch?
I don’t get it. I really don’t.
by Warren Duffy – Article first appeared in Cal Watchdog October 16, 2012
Whether traveling interstates or two lane back roads of our nation, on any given day one can find diesel trucks traveling to stores, warehouses, etc. for the loading and unloading of pallets of food, clothing, plants, auto products, sporting gear and a myriad of other merchandise for consumer consumption. Yet, the environmental bureaucrats in both the state of California and the federal government appear bent on proving that truckers operating diesel trucks are villains who must be taken off the streets across America.
It all began in California when Dr. Hein Tran, employed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), issued a 2008 report claiming diesel fumes released ‘particulate matter’ killing 3500 Californians who had inhaled the tainted air the year prior to his report.. CARB pushed this research constructing a sheaf of new environmental laws that are choking the state’s diesel truckers, as well as other diesel-powered machinery owners with upgrades mandated in the millions of dollars.
One problem, Dr. Tran’s doctorate degree turned out to be a phony, thus putting his statistical reporting as more than questionable. Yet, CARB continues to back Tran’s findings and keep him on staff as a pollution specialist. Though having removed his title of “doctor”, Tran’s reported earnings in 2011 were $87,492.522.52. .
Enter the EPA. Lisa Jackson, administrator of the federal bureaucracy, appeared before Congress in 2011 testifying, “Particulate matter causes premature death. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.” To what extent was the EPA willing to go to prove such statements?
If one heard of human beings paid $12/hour to breathe concentrated diesel truck exhaust fumes for hours at a time, it would seem absurd. This is not the days of the Soviet Union Gulags, the “Re-education” camps of Chairman Mao or Nazi concentration camps in Germany. This is America where such things would never be brought before the citizens of our country. Think again.
The experiment referenced above, did take place as a research project sponsored by the EPA on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “That EPA administrator Lisa Jackson permitted this heinous experimentation to occur under her watch shocks the conscience,” stated Steven Milloy, lawyer and Johns Hopkins-trained biostatistician.
Milloy filed a lawsuit against the EPA in a US District court in Virginia and a complaint against the three scientists with the North Carolina Medical Board. The suit claims that under the Freedom of Information Act, evidence was collected that shows the EPA paid 41 human guinea pigs to breathe exhaust fumes that were more than 21 times greater than the levels the EPA claims are “permissible”.
When it comes to diesel trucks, environmental bureaucratic boards have a proclivity to “shoot first and aim later.” Whether it is the EPA using human beings to breathe diesel truck exhaust fumes through a tube or CARB issuing mandatory regulations gained from statistical data of an employee falsifying his qualifications, the end result is always the same. As the socialist experiment of picking winners and losers continues in this environmental chess game, they will sink to nothing to get this commerce –already subject to so much unreasonable and unnecessary regulations and expense – off the highways and out of work. While the attacks continue, consumers will experience these costs incurred by the trucking industry passed along through increased prices for food, clothing, gas, construction, etc. Who is really the villain?
BY Warren Duffy (This article first appeared on September 13, 2012 in the CalWatchDog publication
It happened again.
First, earlier this year the California Independent System Operator reported to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission suspicion that J.P. Morgan Chase was guilty of a plot to keep electric power off the California consumer market until it was able to command “exceptionally high prices.” The amount grabbed was $73 million. The ISO oversees California’s electricity market.
J.P. Morgan Chase’s name became public when FERC sued it in U.S. District Court for access to internal emails. J.P. Morgan denies the charge.
Now, another company has done the same thing. So far, the company name has not been revealed. Reported the Sacramento Bee, “The company, which state officials wouldn’t identify, has allegedly reaped $10.5 million in ‘excessive gains’ since April.” There has been no court filing against the second claim, so the name of the alleged company remains a mystery.
Are market speculators circling the California Cap and Trade waters preparing to repeat the gaming of the California electric system as they did in 2000 and 2001? For those who may have forgotten, it was Texas company Enron that drove electric prices to record highs, causing massive blackouts for California consumers, while billions of dollars were made in excess profits. Enron went bankrupt and some of its executives went to prison.
What does all of that have to do with California Cap and Trade?
The California Air Resources Board is poised to being its Cap and Trade carbon-credit auction in the state on November 14. At least 400 California manufacturers, utilities and energy producers will be participating. These are businesses in transportation, construction, food processing, concrete, refineries and even colleges.
They will be required to purchase carbon credits to cover the excess over their pollution “caps.” The fear among many people is this will open the Cap and Trade market to all sorts of sophisticated players who know all too well how to “game the system” at the cost of more than just electricity.
At the end of August, CARB conducted a “dry run carbon credit auction” with approximately 150 non-disclosed participants. What happened during that 3-hour exercise remains a closely guarded secret.
What little we do know came from CARB spokesman, David Clegman, who admitted attempts by unidentified players to test the boundaries of the market. Some bids offered by so-called carbon purchasers were described as “completely screwy,” exceeding price limits designed to prevent any cornering of the market. And yet, CARB insists they have safeguards in place to protect their carbon credit auctions from market manipulators.
Since CARB cannot sell carbon credits, it has set up the Western Climate Initiative to oversee all transactions. Having incorporated as a Delaware Corporation, WCI is free from open-meeting disclosures required under California law. If CARB is adamant about protective measures in place, why would they not insist on open-meeting disclosures?
Is the wolf guarding the hen house?
With an estimated crowd of over 500, citizens from throughout the state gathered at the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento August 15th, to oppose the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) enforcement of Cap and Trade. Even more to point was the outcry to stop the state’s first of its kind Carbon Credit Auction to be implemented by CARB on November 14, 2012.
Tea Party representatives, members of California’s Eagle Forum, representatives from large and small businesses (trucking companies, energy suppliers, farmers, dairy ranchers, etc.) were all on hand to protest from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the hot, noon day sun. In addition, the attendees heard a dozen well informed speakers from the private sector to the state legislature. They were also entertained by a skit clearly demonstrating the complicated machinations of the Cap and Trade program that will economically impact California businesses paying the billions of dollars of costs, inevitably passed onto every consumer.
Two Assembly members bemoaned the legislature added language to the 2013 California Budget Bill that specifically exempts CARB from complying with “California’s Sunshine Laws” that require open meetings for conducting state business. Both asked the audience, “If they have nothing to hide, why the secrecy?”
At issue is CARB’s organization with Quebec under the Western Climate Initiative that will oversee the complex carbon credit trading scheme known as Cap and Trade. In the Spring of 2012, WCI, LLC, was incorporated in the state of Delaware, even though it is a California state entity operating with taxpayer dollars. Why Delaware? The state, unlike California, has no open meeting requirements leaving CARB or WCI no legal obligation to reveal anything to California taxpayers during those meetings.
However, things got a bit ‘sticky’ when it was learned a member from CARB’s elected eleven panel board was also serving on WCI. That revelation meant disclosure of the meetings then became ‘public-open-door’ meetings. Hence, the language added to the 2013 budget, was to specifically exempt CARB/WCI meetings from such public disclosure.
The rally was organized by Friends for Saving California Jobs, a coalition of members statewide, who collected thousands of signatures for a petition directed to Governor Brown. The boxed petitions, delivered to his office immediately following the rally, asked for a delay in the implementation of Cap & Trade until the state’s economy improves and unemployment figures drop for a consecutive 5 years.
There has been no response from the Governor.
You say you have not heard the news of CO2 levels being the lowest in 20 years reported anywhere in the mainstream media? You say you have not heard this report from any of the climate and environmentalist alarmists? You are correct. News like this is not something likely to be ‘headlined’ by those with an agenda for never ending environmental regulations.
However, the Energy Information Agency which operates under the Department of Energy and direction of Energy Secretary Steven Chu reported in the first four months of this year, carbon emissions dropped to 1992 levels. Yes, the report states the amount of carbon dioxide being released by the United States into the earth’s atmosphere has dropped to its lowest level in 20 years
This dramatic “carbon-geddon” happened without the federal government enacting a massive national Cap and Trade program or California implementing their state version of the economic crushing regulation. So what happened?
Simple answer – free markets taking action, not government intervention.
While environmental organizations have been wringing their collective hands over the drilling procedure known as “fracking”, practical American businessmen have been heavily investing in this new technology. The fruits of their labor have produced cheap and plentiful natural gas. This in turn has motivated power plant operators to switch from CO2 emitting coal generation to the cleaner burning natural gas.
While the world’s leading climate alarmists were too busy complaining about the route of the Canadian XL Pipeline and filing legal briefs trying to stop the perceived harm to the water tables of the world, they did not anticipation the positive outcome now before them. Whatever their specific distraction, not one climate scientist predicted that America would achieve 1992 CO2 emissions levels in 2012.
Even more embarrassing for the scientific alarmists is this reduction of CO2 in the face of its dramatic rise in emissions globally. While China continues to lead the world in dirty air, the panicky environmental community has yet to figure out a way to impact Beijing’s pollution sins. China is building coal burning power plants at shocking speeds, exhibiting little enthusiasm in cleaning up their choking pollution
As recently as 7 years ago, coal produced in the U.S., powered about half of the nation’s electric generators. At the insistence of the EPA and Obama administration to close down American coal plants, only 34% of the country’s electric power is powered by coal. This is the lowest level in almost 40 years (when the Energy Department started keeping records).
The news of this reduction in CO2 levels proves even more why California does not need a Cap and Trade scheme. Left alone, California’s incredibly innovative business community will not only solve the state’s pollution problems, it will create much needed jobs, provide increased tax revenues for local communities and give the state a jolt of enthusiasm lacking since the 1990s.
Now would be the perfect time for Governor Brown and the California legislature to go about settling the real climate problem of our state; the creation of a business climate where job creators and the market place can prosper.