If green legislation driven by global warming alarmism can't survive in California, what chance does such legislation have of being passed in any other jurisdiction?
To say "not much" is to overestimate the likelihood.
But there is a movement to repeal the global-warming-inspired legislation in place in California:
Could Californians finally be serious about turning around their sputtering economy? One hopeful sign is a ballot initiative that would repeal the Golden State's version of a cap-and-trade carbon tax.
This feel-good law to reduce the state's carbon footprint was enacted with great hoopla by the Democratic legislature and Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 when the state's economy was growing and the jobless rate was 5%. The law requires that starting in 2012 the state must ratchet down its carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The politicians and green lobbies told voters this energy tax would create jobs-the same fairy tale many in Washington are repeating today.
Now the jobless rate is 12.3%, 2.25 million Californians are unemployed, and the state government is broke. So Republican Assemblyman Dan Logue has begun collecting signatures for "The Global Warming Solutions Act," a ballot initiative that would suspend California's cap-and-trade scheme until the unemployment rate falls below 5.5%. He's aiming to get it on the November ballot.
Does a carbon tax cause unemployment? Well, the global downturn was driven by other factors, so the effect of the carbon tax was drowned out.
Much the same way as the effect of carbon dioxide on the Earth's temperature is swamped by the effect of the sun, or of water vapour.
Sorry, I couldn't resist slipping that in.
To Californians, however, two truths are obvious.
First, a carbon tax is not likely to make California look appealing to business, not with neighbouring states who don't have such a tax:
The law all but encourages outsourcing to Nevada, Texas, China and India. Even the liberal Sacramento Bee, which supports the law, says that policy makers should be "candid about the real costs of the transition it is contemplating. . . . Industries that are energy-intensive will move elsewhere."
Second, that job loss is clearly not being compensated by so-called "green jobs". The notion of green jobs is a myth (or more accurately, a lie):
The impact of California's gesture on global temperatures will be infinitesimal, but the economic impact will make the state even less attractive to start or expand a business.
A 2009 study by economists at the California State University at Sacramento and commissioned by the California Small Business Roundtable found that the implementation costs "could easily exceed $100 billion" and that the program would raise the cost of living by $3,857 per household each year by 2020. So much for the free green lunch.
So green legislation just imposes costs, and no benefits. If emissions go down, it's only because the economy is imploding. There is no post-scarcity ultra-tech green paradise at the end of all this.
Let's hope this initiative succeeds. If it does, you can forget about cap-and-trade in the United States. And for provincial and federal politicians here who spout off about green jobs, they'll need to re-write their green copy.
Ontario's Dalton McGuinty is particularly exposed. He is under pressure for having unilaterally awarded a South Korean consortium a green energy deal, along with a nearly half-billion dollar subsidy:
There is mounting anger within the Liberal caucus over Premier Dalton McGuinty's decision to award a $7 billion green-energy deal to a South Korean consortium, sources told the Star.
The deal, signed Thursday, will increase ratepayers' hydro bills and critics say it will undermine domestic renewable energy producers.
That subsidy, announced Thursday, will be worth $437 million over the 25-year life of the deal to build wind turbines and solar equipment in Ontario.
Ironically, Dalton McGuinty tries to make it sound like Ontario is somehow "beating" California:
But in Ottawa on Friday, McGuinty defended the setting aside of scarce transmission capacity for the South Korean consortium - ahead of Ontario renewable energy producers vying for the same access to the grid.
"I was thinking last night that it's a wonderful thing that people here in Ontario are fighting for access to our feed-in tariff program. I haven't heard of such interest in California or Texas or Michigan," the premier said.
If the premier was an honest man, he would add that there is little interest from green businesses in California because of a growing revolt from California taxpayers who feel they've been shafted by politicians in the thrall of the green movement.
Well, now you know. I'm guessing Dalton McGuinty is banking on not too many people ever knowing.