From Watts Up With That?
Laws focus on reducing emissions, but actions are prolifically against written statutes increase emission worldwide by “leaking” them to other countries.
Published June 5, 2023 at California Political Review https://capoliticalreview.com/capoliticalnewsandviews/stein-california-governor-newsoms-actions-to-reduce-emissions-conflict-with-the-states-legal-framework-statutes/
Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for the Heartland Institute and CFACT, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom has been vocal about his commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. However, some of his recent actions of “leaking” emissions to other countries violate many sections of the written legal framework of The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32).
His actions have raised concerns among legal experts and environmentalists, as they conflict with the state’s existing legal framework statutes which prioritize the affordability and reliability of electricity sources over their environmental impact.
The written legal “green” framework statutes in California that Newsom circumvents are:
- A California statute passed in 1970, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), that was signed into law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan and was the beginning of the State’s “green” movement.
- Then in 2006, the passage of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act marked a watershed moment in California’s history. By requiring in law, a sharp reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, California set the stage for its transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.
Of those two voluminous documents, CEQA and AB32, Governor Newsom has chosen just five words from AB32 Section 38562 (4) “reduce toxic air contaminant emissions” as the foundation of his mandates, and his personal emission policy to clean the “air bubble” around California by leaking those emissions to others outside the boundaries of California.
Surprisingly, most of the California population commends him and remains very “supportive” of his efforts of increasing emissions at sites outside the borders of California, along with the higher taxes, inflation, and product shortages being inflicted upon the forty million residents of the state.
Here are a few sections from AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act that demonstrate the Governor’s actions that increase the “leakage” of emissions to developing countries clean the “air bubble” around California:
- AB32 section 38564 states: “The state board shall consult with other states, and the federal government, and other nations to identify the most effective strategies and methods to reduce greenhouse gases, manage greenhouse gas control programs, and to facilitate the development of integrated and cost-effective regional, national, and international greenhouse gas reduction programs”.
- Newsom, by continually decreasing in-state oil production, Newsom’s emissions policies continue to force California, the 4th largest economy in the world, to be the only state in contiguous America that imports most of its crude oil feedstock to refineries from foreign countries. That dependence, via maritime transportation from foreign nations for the state’s crude oil energy demands, has increased imported crude oil from 5 percent in 1992 to almost 60 percent today of total consumption.
- California’s growing dependency on other nations, like Saudi Aramco, some not particularly friendly to America, is a serious national security risk for all of us. It also deprives Californians of jobs and business opportunities and forces drivers to pay premium prices for the fuels and products manufactured at the decreasing number of in-state refineries.
- AB32 section 38562 (8) states: “minimize leakage”.
- Since 1995, California’s crude oil demands have been increasing year over year, except for pandemic years. But given that maritime transportation is one of the greatest contributors of GHG emissions, the state continues to “leak” emissions to others outside the California clean air bubble.
- In 2021, imported foreign crude oil approached 300,000 barrels per year. It took 150 Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) oil tankers, each with 2 million barrels of crude oil, which were required to meet the demands of California. That number of VLCCs, emit about double the annual emissions as the entire Californian transportation sector. So, even if it were necessary to decrease GHG emissions, Newsom’s approach is a total failure as it increases emissions worldwide.
- AB32 section 38562 (2) states: “Ensure that activities undertaken to comply with the regulations do not disproportionately impact low-income communities.”
- For a majority of utility customers in California, businesses included, the average commercial retail price of electricity has increased on average by about 3.5% per year from 2001 to 2020. However, after global events in 2020 such as the coronavirus pandemic, rates through 2023 have risen much higher than previous averages. Some customers are paying annual increases as high as 23%, these are unexpected costs that are obviously required to keep the business running.
- A Regressive Tax. The aforementioned policies have created a regressive energy tax, imposing proportionally higher costs in certain counties, such as California’s inland and Central Valley regions, where summer electricity consumption is highest but household incomes are lowest.
- Energy Poverty. In 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced “energy poverty”- defined as energy expenditures exceeding 10 percent of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15 percent of all households.
In addition, President Joe Biden and California’s Governor Newsom continue to support subsidies to procure EV’s and build more wind turbines and solar panels, when those subsidies are providing financial incentives to the developing countries mining for those “green” materials, which promotes further exploitations of poor people in developing countries.
I personally thought that President Biden and California Governor Newsom had higher moral and ethical standards that would stop them from financially encouraging developing countries from continuing their exploitation of the poor with yellow, brown, and black skin, and further environmental degradation to the landscapes in those distant developing countries.