SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s greenhouse gas reduction law already has shaken up the state’s industrial sector, costing it more than $1.5 billion in pollution permit fees.
It’s now poised to hit the pocketbooks of everyday Californians.
Starting next year, the law will force fuel distributors into the same cap-and-trade marketplace as utilities and major manufacturers. The oil industry says it will lead to price increases of at least 12 cents a gallon immediately, while state regulators say any price spikes could vary widely, from barely noticeable to double-digits.
Anticipating angst at the pump, a leading state lawmaker is raising concerns about the uncertainty of the law’s impact on prices for consumer fuels, including gasoline, natural gas, propane and heating oil. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, says the state should scrap the plan to put fuel producers under the cap-and-trade provision of the law and instead institute a 15 cent-per-gallon “carbon tax.”
Cap-and-trade sets a limit, or cap, on emissions of heat-trapping gases and requires companies to pay for each ton of pollution they emit, the price of which is determined in an allowance auction. Polluters that cut emissions below the cap can sell their leftover pollution permits, called allowances, to companies that need extra.
The program is a central part of AB32, the greenhouse gas reduction law that passed the Legislature and was signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, in 2006. But it is just one of several provisions of the law — such as requiring lower-carbon fuels — meant to prompt Californians to change their transportation and energy consumption habits as the state seeks to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases to 1990 levels by 2020.
The California Air Resources Board, which designed and implemented cap-and-trade, differs with Steinberg’s assessment and projects no noticeable increase in gas costs after Jan. 1. But the board’s own economic analysis of AB32 from 2010 shows that diesel prices could rise from 3 percent to 23 percent, with gasoline prices rising 5 percent to 32 percent, depending on market factors associated with the global warming law’s programs.
The industry and some economic forecasts have predicted a 10- to 12-cent increase in the price per gallon at the pump, and Steinberg says those prices could spike as high as 40 cents a gallon.
Still, Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the Air Resources Board, said oil companies have had since 2010 to prepare and are not required to pass on the costs to consumers.
“It would appear to be some deliberate measure on their part if there were to be a sudden rise in (fuel) prices on Jan. 1,” Nichols said. “I would expect that they would incorporate the cost of the allowances into their pricing.”
Steinberg’s idea of charging a flat tax on carbon — rather than having the price change regularly because of cap and trade auctions — does not force polluters to reduce their emissions, Nichols said, which is key to the state’s greenhouse gas law.
But it does allow for more stable pricing, said Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento.
This is short and entertaining !
Del Norte Triplicate
Written by Bob Berkowitz August 21, 2013 05:39 pm
It’s time we asked the question, “When is enough enough?”
It should be evident by now that the big foot of state government controlled by Los Angeles and San Francisco has embarked on a war against the rural counties of Northern California.
Even if you were living under a rock and were not paying attention, the illegal fire tax should have gotten your attention. It is only being paid by those living in rural areas even if they are already paying a separate tax for local fire protection. That state tax alone will cost you a minimum of $1,100 over the next 10 years.
But wait, there’s more, a lot more. Back in May I pointed out in this newspaper that the California war on rural areas was being extended to our kids with the introduction of a bill that would mandate that children who identified themselves as members of the opposite sex could use all of the facilities of that sex.
In other words, if a boy identifies himself as a girl even though he has male parts, he is allowed to play with the girls on their athletic teams, other competitions and use the facilities consistent with his gender identity. Yes, it means he can also use the girls bathroom, locker room and shower facilities.
I predicted that If this were ever to become law, it would put an end to public schools. No parent that I know would ever send their child to a school that would abide by this law. Well, guess what? That bill with the backing of Los Angeles and San Francisco and our own assemblyman has passed and was signed by the governor and is now the law, beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.
It’s time we asked a lot of questions like: Do we really need almost 6,000 state agencies to govern every aspect of our lives?
Do we really want to pay billions of dollars for a bullet train for Southern California while our cries to fix Highway 101 go unheard?
Do we really want Los Angeles to steal our water while our fish die for lack of adequate flows?
Do we really want San Francisco to dictate the price of labor in Del Norte County? Last of all, is it fair that we are being subjected to taxation without representation?
Citizens in other rural counties are asking themselves these same questions and are coming to the conclusion that in order to have some measure of control over their lives, they are beginning to look into the matter of secession with the goal of establishing the state of Jefferson.
The state of Jefferson is not a new idea. In 1941 the idea of creating a state out of Northern California and Southern Oregon almost took hold, because even 60 years ago these areas were feeling neglected and without the power to control their own destiny.
The counties of Southern Oregon have the same problems that are facing the counties of Northern California. It’s only natural that they want what we want, the chance to control their own lives. Curry, Josephine and Jackson counties in Oregon would make great partners with Del Norte, Siskiyou and Trinity counties in California.
We can begin the process by having our Board of Supervisors adopt a resolution to withdraw from the state of California. This first step is permitted under Article 4 Section 3 of the constitution.
Is there a supervisor willing to take on this challenge? I hope so. What would you rather have, two senators representing Del Norte or Siskiyou or Jackson counties rather than representing San Francisco and Marin counties as we have now?
Wouldn’t you rather have a congressman representing you and your interests rather than representing Marin County interests as we have now?
In any event, the conversation needs to start somewhere. It might as well begin here and now.
You can be a part of it by contacting your supervisor and ask them if he or she would be willing to support a resolution that would begin the process of letting us chart our own destiny.
Bob Berkowitz is a Crescent City resident.
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by on 03/06/2014
California Political News and Views
In a sickened display of disdain for quality education and the rights of students a former Conejo Valley School District Superintendent testified in court that it is OK to keep bad teachers in a classroom—and that spending years and hundreds of thousands of education dollars to get rid of bad teachers is the right strategy. Sounding more like a union official than a professional educator, Robert Friesse defended union contracts that forced the firing of good teachers, while keeping bad teachers based on “tenure”.
“On layoffs, Fraisse said that he had not seen a better, more objective system than seniority. “It is a fair method that is perceived as fair when tight economic times require tough things,” he said. (He also said he believed that substituting test scores as a measure of effectiveness might lead to a narrowing of the curriculum and a breakdown of collaboration, but after plaintiff’s attorney McRae objected, Judge Treu disallowed that answer as speculative.)”
This is total disrespect for the rights of students, of all colors and back, to get a quality education. Friesse is the epitome of an educrat.
Published: Friday, Mar. 7, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Friday, Mar. 7, 2014 – 10:46 am
California’s state hospital system and three of its employees must pay a combined $1 million award to a state hospital psychologist after a jury decided she was pressured to declare mentally ill patients competent for trial using questionable assessment methods and then fired for exposing the policy.
Napa State Hospital psychologist Melody Jo Samuelson’s lawsuit ended with a monthlong trial and a verdict that she suffered retaliation for whistleblowing. A judge late last week affirmed the jury’s decision.
Department of State Hospitals spokesman Ralph Montaño declined to answer questions about allegations in the lawsuit or whether the department will continue fighting it.
“The department is in the process of evaluating the verdict,” Montano said in an email earlier this week.
Samuelson’s lawyer, Kirk B. Freeman, said his client is “happy with the jury’s verdict,” but “she still has concerns about how she’s going to be treated at the hospital.”
According to court records, the state hired Samuelson in early 2006 and granted her privileges at Napa State Hospital that included assessing criminally accused patients’ fitness to stand trial. The records say she received favorable reviews.
Not long after Samuelson started work, the state and federal government settled on changes to end civil rights abuses at Napa and three other state hospitals where mentally ill inmates sometimes languished without treatment.
Samuelson’s court complaint alleged that James Jones, the Napa hospital’s chief of psychology, “made it clear … that he was committed to … returning patients to court as competent to stand trial.” To do that, Jones lowered evaluation standards and pressured staff to use unreliable methods to determine patients’ competency, according to the complaint. One assessment technique, the complaint said, used a “mock trial” method that prepared patients to answer evaluation questions by rote memorization.
Jones’ agenda was to move patients out of the hospital and “improve outcome statistics,” Samuelson’s court filing alleged, but “patients were at risk of having their psychologists testifying that they were competent to stand trial when they were, in fact, not competent to stand trial.”
Jones used the hospital’s peer-review process to pressure staff to go along with the fallible patient-evaluation methods, the complaint said.
Historic: 1st state adopts plan to rein in feds
Georgia legislature: ‘Enough is enough,’ calls for restraints on Washington
World Net Daily.com
By Bob Unruh
March 6, 2014
The plan to put the brakes on Washington’s expansion of the federal government is under way.
Convention of States confirmed that the Georgia legislature on Thursday passed the organization’s application “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.”
State Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, told the organization he is “pleased that the Georgia legislature has given voice to the frustrations of millions of Georgians.”
“Enough is enough. It is time to impose fiscal and other restraints on our runaway federal government. We urge other states to join us,” said Macon, the primary sponsor of the resolution.
“We Georgians have become the hope of the nation today,” said Jacqueline Peterson, the Georgia state director for the Convention of States Project. “Many thanks to our state legislators for standing for liberty. May God bless us, every single one!”
The idea is to have an Article V Convention of States, the one process the U.S. Constitution gives to citizens to bypass the White House, Congress and even their own governors to establish a new path for the nation.
The new president in 2017 would face new limits on executive orders, Commerce Clause actions, a balanced federal budget and a ban on using international treaties to govern inside the U.S. if the state-based movement is successful.
There could even be term limits for Supreme Court justices and Congress, and a mandatory sunset of all existing federal taxes.
The ideas are being discussed in legislatures where a Convention of the States has been proposed.
The Convention of States Project, launched by Citizens for Self Governance, is working to have state lawmakers call such a convention through the Constitution’s Article V.
Thousands of Americans already have signed on in support of the idea that Americans, themselves, need to address Washington’s massive spending, over-regulation and takeover of authority from states.
State lawmakers in Alaska, Alabama, Florida and elsewhere also are now looking at plans that if approved would be submitted to Congress in support of a convention.
Michael Farris, who has been know for years as the face of the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, now is on the front line of seeking a convention in which state delegates would meet, agree on a path for the country and then tell Congress what will happen.
Calif. senator sues ObamaCare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
By Tori Richards
A California senator has sued his state’s ObamaCare exchange for causing the cancellation of more than a million policies and spending tax dollars in an “irrational, unreasonable and abusive” way, such as a lurid Richard Simmons video.
The lawsuit against Covered California and its director, Peter Lee, was filed late Tuesday by Sen. Ted Gaines, the legislature’s most vocal critic of ObamaCare. Gaines has sparred recently with Lee by demanding an accounting of $1.37 million spent to promote a campaign featuring a gyrating dance-off with Simmons.
“We saw a million people impacted who had insurance and then saw those plans canceled based on a decision of Covered California,” Gaines told Watchdog. “We want to stop that in its tracks to take a look as to whether this is the right path for insurance coverage in California and across the nation.”
Gaines said he has run into red tape trying to get a remedy in the Legislature and hopes the courts will have an effect. He filed the lawsuit as a private citizen and as the owner of a family insurance agency.
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by on 03/03/2014
California Political News and Views
To cover his out of control spending and massively deficit budget, Guv Brown closed down local government Redevelopment agencies and stole the money—that money was used to “balance” the State budget. It also stopped projects that would create jobs—Brown wanted the money more than he wanted jobs in California.
Lots of lawsuits, cities on the verge of bankruptcy and financial ruin everywhere—but Brown can say his budget is balanced—even though the State Controller says we have a $12 billion cash deficit. Brown is confused by all the stolen money and gimmicks used to create a “balanced” budget. Now the Guv realizes he has killed jobs and harmed cities, so he wants to “walk back” his actions.
“The crux of Brown’s plan is to expand the reach of the rarely-used, little-known infrastructure finance districts. The districts, or IFDs, have taxing authority and are created with voter approval. They rely on property tax dollars and focus on highways, transit and sewer projects, libraries, parks and child care centers.
Brown wants to add to that list urban “infill” development, affordable housing, development to encourage use of public transportation and former military bases, and what his office calls “necessary consumer services.”
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