Senator Mimi Walters on AB375: Stop the Madness!
Stop the Madness
California’s jobless rate is the third highest in the nation. Our tax
burden is the highest in the nation. Our permitting process is a
nightmare. Lawsuits are killing California jobs.
Just when you would think our policy-makers have done enough to drive
the state’s economy to the worst in the nation, they’re using the SB
375 implementation to go even further. You may recall that SB 375 was
designed to merge regional planning with greenhouse gas (GhG) reduction
goals. Even though some of us opposed the bill, we hoped the process
would be fair and that the goals of economic growth and emission
reduction would be pursued equally. But, the proposed emission
reduction target levels issued by the California Air Resources Board
(CARB) demonstrate, again, that elitists have taken over the
policy–making and are developing massive new regulatory programs to
serve their interests.
What are the SB 375 emission reduction targets for Southern California?
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), which is the
metropolitan planning organization representing six counties, 190
cities and more than 19 million residents, recommended a realistic
target range of 6–8% for 2020 and 3–6% for 2035. Somehow CARB staff
disregarded this recommendation and instead proposed completely
unrealistic targets that were not even discussed or modeled. The CARB
staff recommended raising the levels to 8% for 2020 and 13% for 2035.
The problem with SCAG and CARB setting unachievable levels is that
extraordinary measures will have to be taken to even come close to
achieving these goals.
How will this impact Orange County, Southern California and the state?
Although the official record is silent on why the levels were raised
and embarrassingly void of any economic and job analysis, the means for
achieving the higher levels has been described as the following:
- Count on reduced employment in Southern California. That’s not a
typo – the SCAG scenario assumes a loss of jobs and continuing
recession to reduce emissions.
- Dedicate more tax dollars to mass transit. With state and federal
governments already running huge deficits, we know whose wallet and
purse SCAG and CARB will be grabbing to pay for these new projects. The
new funding needs will be in addition to the $40 billion the public
will be shelling–out to pay for high speed rail.
- Force people from their cars to biking and walking.
If these strategies do not work, SCAG will be forced to adopt what the
elitist environmental advocates really want – frightening price
increases that will harm our families and small businesses. This
special interest agenda on pricing strategies was not part of the SCAG
analysis, but those strategies were fully analyzed in Northern
California. They include the following:
- Gas price increases up to $9.07 a gallon. The analysis indicated
that drivers will finally give up their cars if the price of fuel is
raised high enough.
- Congestion fees for driving in urban areas.
- Mandatory parking fees to reduce traffic in cities.
SCAG and CARB have set up a “no win” situation for the people of Orange
County and the state. We either accept higher fees and taxes to pay for
mass transit, or the region is declared out of compliance with the
unachievable targets. If we are out of compliance, then we can expect
lawsuits by the same elitists who are gaming the target levels. Their
lawsuits will seek to stop new developments in the region or extract
fees so high that it will make building in California uneconomical. No
building, no construction jobs, fewer consumers purchasing goods – more
of the same policies that are making life miserable for working people.
Get involved. Call the CARB members. Demand a balanced approach that
encourages job creation. Make these decision–makers explain the
rationale and the implications of their decision. Stop the madness that
is ruining this state.