In its present state, California is not well. Not long ago it was the envy of the nation and the world. Often referred to as the “Golden State”, California was the land of opportunity for business’ as well as the people who live here. But today that optimism and forward thinking is sinking it into a failed state.
Although Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor by professing to know how to bail California out of its debt, he will most likely be remembered as the governor who built the state’s green economy. Assembly Bill 32, the bill signed into law by Schwarzenegger four years ago, will dramatically change the way business is done in California.
Major elements of this law, AB 32, go into effect in 2010 and numerous others are coming up for approval, including a very controversial “cap-and-trade” system of buying and selling pollution credits that will reach far beyond just the state of California.
California’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has stated that if elected, she would suspend AB 32 by executive order for a year. Her rival GOP opponent Steve Poizner is even more adamantly against it. He has gone so far as to actively support a proposed ballot measure lead by Assemblyman Dan Logue designed to suspend the law until the state reaches unemployment levels that are below 5.5 percent. The ballot measure is titled “California Jobs Initiative.” One study released last year from Sacramento State, determined that AB 32 would cost the average household almost $3,000 a year, and the average small business over $40,000 a year.
The proponents of AB 32 believe that abandoning it would be devastating to California. They argue that the state is already seeing economic gain from the far-reaching law. CARB spokesman Stanley Young claims that “$3 out of every $5 invested in clean tech is coming to California.” These proponents further believe that if California abandons AB 32 it would just leave the door open to other states to move forward and leave California with missed opportunity.
Perhaps the question that should be asked is what is the price of “missed opportunity” when compared to the loss of even more already existing California jobs and businesses?The California Association of Business, Property and Resource Owners (CABPRO) is against AB 32 and calls for an immediate stop to its implementation. Furthermore, CABPRO supports any investigation into CARB regarding recent disclosures about key scientists having phony credentials and academic degrees as well as reports from the news media regarding "Climategate" and that Global Warming is based on "junk science."