Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just in Time for the Weekend, California Cap and Trade is Put on Hold

We're not sure how to react to this news, but it's a good thing for the time being: the Sacramento Bee reports that Judge Ernest Goldsmith of San Francisco's Superior Court has ordered an immediate halt to the California Air Resources Board's implementation of AB 32's cap and trade program. The decision follows from the Judge's ruling that CARB failed to conduct a thorough analysis of alternatives to cap and trade.

AB 32: Making your carbon-emitting existence a crime.
It would be one thing if cap and trade were being put on hold because its implementation is, technically, in violation of state law. And it would be one thing if the ruling meant the state was stepping back from the economic suicide the bill represents. Unfortunately, neither of those things is true. Little things like crippling economic effects and laws have rarely slowed down environmental regulation in California. The fact of the matter is that the lawsuit against CARB was brought by environmentalists who find cap and trade an insufficiently draconian way of reducing carbon emissions. Like it or not, there are a sizable number of Californians who won't be happy until the only carbon emissions in the state come from people rubbing sticks together for heat. If the review of alternatives succeeds in abolishing cap and trade, it will only be replaced by something worse. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: we still think that AB 32 will meet its goal of driving greenhouse gas emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020. Not because cap and trade or any similar scheme will work, but because the bill will drive so many productive businesses and individuals out of California.


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