This is not the time to implement policies that will further cripple California’s economy and put a disproportionate financial burden on the state’s poor and elderly, but that is exactly what the California Air Resources Board is planning to do by implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act.
The air board has presented a rosy economic picture with AB 32, claiming it will create over 100,000 new jobs and $27 billion in increased production activity. However, a recent study by the Legislative Analyst Office points out the flaws in the board’s reasoning. The LAO calls the economic analysis “inconsistent and incomplete.”
They argue the report does not account for all of the costs associated with curbing carbon dioxide emissions, and that the air board “intentionally excluded costs and savings associated with certain measures.” The air board essentially claims that any reduction in carbon dioxide is “cost-effective “no matter what the price. The board is willing to further cripple the economy in order to achieve minute changes in the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. And even this flawed economic analysis was done after, not before, deciding which measures to include. Economic analysis should be used to inform, not to justify, the plan’s design.
The scoping plan also fails to include any strategies to deal with changing circumstances, either economic, science or political.
The plan is neither well thought out nor complete. The Air Resources Board is scheduled to vote Thursday whether to adopt the AB32 Scoping Plan. The board should delay adoption until it has a more complete plan and a better analysis.