As most of you know by now, AB32, otherwise known as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, was sold as California's answer to "climate change." Our bipartisan-minded Governator at the time wished to go down in history as eco-friendly, so he and the Democratic legislature mandated a reduction in state carbon dioxide emissions--that is, energy use--to 1990 levels by 2020. AB32 empowered the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to achieve these aims using "market mechanisms" of its devising.
Now we know that "saving the planet" means oodles and oodles of new taxes. And current California governor Jerry Brown couldn't be happier.
A front page story in Easter Sunday's San Jose Mercury News explains:
Windfall of cash could hit state treasury from global warming program
For the past 10 years, California has struggled with huge budget deficits and wrenching cuts. Suddenly, however, the state is poised to raise billions from an unusual new source: the proceeds from its landmark global warming law.
The windfall could come as soon as this fall, when state officials are set to begin auctioning off pollution credits to oil refineries, power plants and other major polluters as part of a new "cap-and-trade" system.
The amounts are potentially enormous: from $1 billion to $3 billion a year in 2012 and 2013, jumping to as high as $14 billion a year by 2015, according to the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst's Office. By comparison, the state's current budget deficit is $9 billion.
Happy days will be here again once CARB's new energy taxes kick in and Governor Brown wins his tax-the-rich referendum this November. Even better, the Bush-era tax cuts expire at year end!
Who could have guessed that the gritty work of saving the planet would dovetail so neatly with the revenue requirements of an out-of-control welfare state?