NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Maine wants to know the cost of Kyoto like rules

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order June 1st, 2005 to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California over the next 45 years. His executive order called for a slowdown of emissions by 2010, returning the state to 2000 emission levels. By 2020, his order calls for the state to return to 1990 levels. By 2050, the Gov. expects the state to reduce emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels.

In 2003, Maine passed legislation implementing the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan, a regional version of the Kyoto Protocol, committed New England and Eastern Canada to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010, 10% below that by 2020, and eventually by 70-80% or more.

Looks a lot like Gov. Schwarzenegger’s plan. But the story does not stop there.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection decided not to discuss either the costs or the averted global warming benefits explicitly, but rather to focus on other environmental benefits, and to ignore the likely impact on energy bills. The plan was not to be submitted for an up or down vote, but implemented piecemeal by executive order and rule-making.

Representative Henry Joy was having none of this peace meal strangulation of Maine’s economy, and submitted an Act to Promote Sound Science in Climate Change Policy. It required that "when the Department of Environmental Protection adopts rules designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the department must issue an estimate of the amount of global warming that will be prevented and the costs that will result from the rules requiring reduction in greenhouse gas emissions." Wow , clear straight forward accountability. The Governor signed this landmark legislation.

My question is, when will California tax payers wise up and make the California Air Resources Board accountable for the environmental rules they levy on us tax payers. By their own admission, their new auto emission standards, will not reduce global warming, or if you prefer the new term global climate change, yet cost all new car buyer from $1,000 to $3,000 more per vehicle, starting in 2009. Where is the accountability? Maine gets it, when will California?

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