Report Finds Central Valley Paying Unfair Portion of the State Power Bill

Two economists from California Lutheran University explained at a forum sponsored by the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. They posited that the demographics of the San Joaquin Valley, younger, more Hispanic people, and less wealthy than other areas of the state, means that the costs of greenhouse gas reducing energy regulations have a larger impact on them than someone on the coast.

AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, hit the central valley hard with its calling for sharp reductions in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. The economists pointed out that “the costs of energy regulation work exactly like a regressive tax.”

They also pegged the jobs lost in the valley because of the energy regulations at roughly 30,000, and over 250,000 lost for the state.

Bill Watkins, one of the Cal Lutheran economists, shared one grim line that reframes the whole situation. “California is such a small part of the world’s carbon footprint and what we’re doing [with AB 32] isn’t making a difference,” Watkins said. “California may be leading but nobody else is really following.”

Maybe this relates back to the local control piece we ran a couple weeks ago? It is okay to let locals handle the local-scale stuff.

More on the Cal Lutheran report can be found here.