Cap-and-trade auction a job killer for Kern County

By ASSEMBLYWOMAN SHANNON GROVE

The state’s first cap-and-trade auction, which took place Wednesday, Nov. 14, a punitive action against job creators, will drive out local industries.

The California Air Resources Board and the Democrats in the legislature call businesses the “polluter class.” These businesses are going to take their jobs across state lines, adding to the ever-growing “unemployed class” in California.

The California Air Resources Board launched the state’s cap-and-trade market yesterday by holding its first auction of greenhouse gas pollution credits. California business owners must purchase these credits or pursue measures to cut their greenhouse gas emissions in order to comply with AB 32, the state’s 2006 “anti-global warming” law that placed an emissions limit on individual companies.

Businesses are required to buy credits from other companies for each ton over the limit that they discharge annually. The monies raised by this auction will be allocated by the state legislature to fund programs purportedly intended to reduce “global warming.” These requirements will particularly burden the energy, agriculture and manufacturing industries prominent in Kern County.

I’d hoped saner minds would rule, but instead they’re moving forward with this scheme. That’s what this is — under the guise of cleaner air, the state legislature is bleeding California businesses of even more money because the government knows industry can’t meet the impossible standards set by AB 32. The “choice” given to business is to either satisfy the severe AB 32 standards by reducing production or pay up to the government, which is the politicians’ real goal here.

California is the only jurisdiction in the country with policies as stringent as those associated with AB 32. The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office reported this summer that cap and trade isn’t even needed to lower greenhouse gas emissions in the state and that it will greatly increase production costs for businesses forced to comply with the regulations.

The California Chamber of Commerce filed an 11th-hour lawsuit this week to invalidate the auction, arguing that the California Air Resources Board exceeded its authority in establishing the revenue-raising program. While yesterday’s auction still took place, future auctions will be halted if the chamber is granted an injunction.

Assemblywoman Grove, R-Bakersfield, serves the 32nd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, Taft, Frazier Park/Lebec and the Kern River Valley.

Story First Published: 2012-11-21