Prop23 cap-n-trade gets tangled in environmental review

Oh this is delicious sweet irony…they adopted a plan but didn’t bother to make a complete environmental review like any other project in the state is required to do. That’s what they get for ramrodding the thing. From the:

Calif. cap-trade plan dealt blow by S.F. judge

Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau

Friday, February 4, 2011

(02-04) 04:00 PST Sacramento -

The California Air Resources Board violated state environmental law in 2008 when it adopted a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases and again last year when it passed cap-and-trade regulations, a San Francisco Superior Court judge has ruled in a tentative decision.

If the decision is made final, California would be barred from implementing its ambitious plan to combat global warming until it complies with portions of the California Environmental Quality Act, though it is not yet clear what the air board would have to do to be in compliance. The state’s plan, which implements AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, would reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The Air Resources Board and those who brought the lawsuit, a variety of environmental groups represented by the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, a San Francisco organization, have until Tuesday to respond before the court makes a final ruling.

In his decision, Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the air board approved the larger plan to implement AB32 prior to completing the required environmental review, and that the board failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap and trade.

The Air Resources Board “seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap-and-trade program before alternative (sic) can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by the ARB itself,” Goldsmith found, adding that the air board’s “analysis provides no evidence to support its chosen approach.”

The judge said the air board’s reasoning for approving the larger plan without a complete review “undermines (the state environmental quality act’s) goal of informed decision-making.”

full story here

h/t to Russ Steele

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39 thoughts on “Prop23 cap-n-trade gets tangled in environmental review

  1. Might it be possible to argue that capping CO2 would lead to decrease in plant growth and less oxygen (a decline in air quality) while any known harm to animals from “high” concentrations of CO2 can not be shown until several 1000s of ppm are reached?

    Perhaps this “green” arguement should be used against these regulations? I know, too logical and the wrong agenda.

    Bernie

  2. FUBAR- Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition. What next? Carbon Trading on the
    ACME Corp. CO2 exchange?
    Somehow, this gives me little confidence…

  3. How it is possible for California to regulate greenhouse gasses, since they are now supposedly under the jurisdiction of the EPA and the federal government?

    Why isn’t the Obama administration knocking down the doors of federal courthouses in the ninth circuit to demand that California cease and desist for usurping federal supremacy or creating a state by state patchwork of environmental laws/emission regulations?

  4. “The judge said the air board’s reasoning for approving the larger plan without a complete review “undermines (the state environmental quality act’s) goal of informed decision-making.”
    =======
    Who knew, it would be so hard to save the world?

  5. Heh; what you get for including noble boilerplate in the State Code. There’s always the danger some damfool judge will hold you to it!

    SFTRL (Swinging From The Rafters, Laughing)

  6. “If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites everyman to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.”

    –U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    …just something to keep in mind when the gov’t breaks its own laws, as in this case.

  7. Douglas DC;
    You misspelled “Fouled“. See, the ‘u‘ comes one position earlier, the ‘o‘ looses its leading quadrant, and the ‘l‘ should be one alphabetic position earlier.
    There! All fixed!
    :)

  8. “while any known harm to animals from “high” concentrations of CO2 can not be shown until several 1000s of ppm are reached?”

    10,000s is more closely correct.

    .000000
    .010000 = 10,000ppm = 1% and this is the low end of any detrimental effects for only the most feeble of creatures. 50,000ppm is where it starts to become toxic by acidifying the blood. There have been many instances in the past billion years where CO2 has been 20,000ppm or higher and over the period of life on Earth it has been even higher.

  9. What can one expect from a Govenor who has not two junior school leaving certificates to rub together?

  10. First the judge stops their grand plan and then they find Ronald Reagan’s signature on the law. There is humor in that.

  11. I heard the three branches of government in California were the Assembly, the Senate, and the CARB. Or am I channeling Senator Schumer too much?

  12. Environmental advocates have for months raised concerns about whether the air board was adequately addressing the impacts of implementing AB32 on disadvantaged communities.

    End of the World and minorities, women & children hardest hit.

  13. Tom C says:
    February 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Why isn’t the Obama administration knocking down the doors of federal courthouses in the ninth circuit to demand that California cease and desist for usurping federal supremacy or creating a state by state patchwork of environmental laws/emission regulations?

    The Feds don’t go after those who are usurping power the same way they do. Now try enacting sensible, precedented legislation and they’ll go after ya!

  14. Bernie, your converse argument, for positive benefits of higher CO2 that would be prevented from occurring under the proposed regulation, is excellent.

    To counter this, the “Air Force” would have to prove that CO2 at the levels they wish to control, i.e. 300-400 ppm or so, was detrimental, although deleterious effects on plants would not be reached until tens of thousands of ppm are reached, as long as adequate soil buffering is available. (Hydroponic experiments may make the water too acidic, but that experiment is irrelevant to the open ecological systems where clay can easily buffer the weak acid, carbonic). Animals can survive and thrive at 5000 ppm. Any studies that the Air Resources group does would have to be carefully audited, since those people may (how can we put this delicately) err in their experimental design.

    In California, their best case would be utilize reference works, something like “ocean acidification”, that would hurt the otters in Monterey Bay if water dropped to pH 5 or so (impossible with 400 ppm CO2, BTW) and algae and oysters and otters would die. This would be based on so-called “peer reviewed” papers written by members of “The Team” and their cronies.

    The cappers could only argue using the appeal to authority and expert (i.e. warm-earther) testimony, that would show (another example) that polar bears and the like would be injured by CO2 levels, which could then be countered by realists’ testimony in court showing that polar bears are on the increase against rising CO2 levels.

    A messy, long road, but I hope the injunction would not be quashed while the settlement is under evaluation.

    But don’t let’s get too giddy. The judges in California are, well, California judges.

  15. tokyoboy says:
    February 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Before you give the judge too much credit for common sense, I am more sanguine. The judge has to be smart enough to see that a ruling for the defendant would set a precedent that would be difficult to live down. Moderate cases trying to free California from energy dependency, e.g., to allow mining, or drilling, or building of nuclear facilities, would use the ruling as precedent to exempt these business from years of environmental impact hoop-jumping that the environmentalists have set up for decades.

    The judge may have figured, “What’s bad for the goose is bad for the gander”.

  16. astonerii says:
    February 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm
    ….
    There have been many instances in the past billion years where CO2 has been 20,000ppm or higher and over the period of life on Earth it has been even higher.

    Two recent articles by Dana Royer surveying the literature on this report that over the past 550 million (not thousand) years, CO2 was typically in the range 1000-3000 ppm, with a couple of periods perhaps as high as 5000 or 6000 ppm, but nothing like 20,000 ppm, so I am skeptical.

    He characterizes the occasional periods with less than 1000 ppm as “cool” and those under 500 ppm as “glacial”. So perhaps getting CO2 up to 500 ppm might head off the otherwise inevitable next ice age. However, it’s not clear which way the causality runs — does low CO2 cause ice ages, or does cold weather cause low CO2 (as oceans absorb more gas)?

  17. I never understood the liberals whole hearted embace of the “green” agenda. Green energy costs more, Barack himself said “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

    Which means the cost of everything, not just energy, would surge. Meanwhile, the poor, the disadvantaged, would suffer.

    Yet the liberals choose windmills over heat, fuel or food for the poor.

  18. Tom C says: “Why isn’t the Obama administration knocking down the doors of federal courthouses in the ninth circuit to demand that California cease and desist for usurping federal supremacy or creating a state by state patchwork of environmental laws/emission regulations?”

    The Zero-bama administration wants California to go bankrupt so they can step in and take on the debt, thus pushing the US closer to its own collapse. China will step in and take our coal mines and prime real estate in partial payment. Obama will move to China.

  19. This just makes me sick, I used to like GE. Then I read this:

    03 February 2011
    GE’s 15,000th 1.5 Megawatt Wind Turbine Supports Training of Future Wind Technicians at Basin Electric’s Crow Lake Wind Farm .
    =============
    In fact it scares me, with the CEO of GE being named the new head of the “Economic Recovery Advisory Board” in President Obama’s administration, now we get to pay them (GE) on both ends. We subsidize the industry with our taxes, and pay more for the finished products/energy.
    No wonder “green” energy is so popular, the profit is guaranteed.

    And, another false economy is created.

  20. Consider what organization brought the suit and what they want- “whether the air board was adequately addressing the impacts of implementing AB32 on disadvantaged communities.”

    It seems to me that this is an attempt to get CARB to direct the money from the carbon trading to “disadvantaged communities.” It is not about judging the merits of CO2 control.

  21. The Air Resources Board “seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap-and-trade program before alternative (sic) can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by the ARB itself,” Goldsmith found, adding that the air board’s “analysis provides no evidence to support its chosen approach.”

    The judge said the air board’s reasoning for approving the larger plan without a complete review “undermines (the state environmental quality act’s) goal of informed decision-making.”

    In other words, their rules don’t apply to them, only to other people. But isn’t that S.O.P. for government organizations? They generally exempt themselves from their own requirements. In this case I am glad we had a judge who held their feet to the fire.

  22. How ironic if the next ice age really began to take effect and one could see all the “Holy” Greens trashing their Prius/Volts/etc and buying SUVs and urging more coal fired power station construction, knocking down wind farms, eating beef – ah the list is endless!

  23. Well, at least California gets bit of a break, before AB32 kicks in and kills jobs. However, when it does kick in, I expect to be paying top $ for energy.

    :-((

  24. A San Francisco judge? These guys are “ramrodding” each other.

    I wonder what is really going on.

  25. old engineer says:
    February 4, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    “disadvantaged communities.”

    I see. Now I understand. That term is code that those living in California catch on to right away. Didn’t Lisa Jackson and Van Jones say going green is about “social justice”?

  26. tokyoboy says:
    February 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    At last common sense is beginning to prevail even in a radical State?

    Please don’t allow yourself to think that. I live in California. There is a motive that we could not associate with common sense.

  27. BoomBoom says:
    February 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    “I never understood the liberals whole hearted embace of the “green” agenda. Green energy costs more, Barack himself said “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.””

    Ultimately, the political agenda of modern American liberals to to shift the balance of the economy towards a larger public sector (as a percentage of GDP) and smaller private sector. The green agenda is a weapon in the service of this objective. What’s one of the few things, which if regulated, would give the liberals *complete* control over the private sector? CO2.

    The liberals have discovered that its rather easy to corrupt scientists. All one needs to do is to offer biscuits (in the form of grants, fame and power) to those scientists who produce ‘the right answer’.

    But I think this approach of using environment laws to force them to show a negative impact is brilliant. Hoist them on their own petard.

  28. As student of cyclical theory, this is where I say, they try to revive the btu tax . . .

    Clinton Retreats on Energy Tax in Fight Over Budget – NYTimes.com Jun 9, 1993 … On the chopping block is Mr. Clinton’s proposal to tax the heat content of fuels – the so-called Btu tax. Democratic leaders have indicated …
    http://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/09/news/09iht-plan_1.html

    It’s now called the “Carbon Tax”. And we already have Fuel taxes. . .

    The theorists have the “Butterfly effect”, the “Goldilocks effect” . . . well why not the “Huckster effect”.

  29. I thought the ruling elite were working towards the 1970 emission levels by driving out all forms of commerce so no one can afford the inflated power and gas costs so the whole place goes back to the stone age and there you go emissions right down, if anyone lives there any more, except the wealth elite and the unemployed, there you go socialist utopia, just like England but with a better climate.

  30. the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, would reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020

    ah, what good would this do anyway?

    Weren’t 1990 levels supposedly causing global warming, too?

  31. BoomBoom says:
    February 4, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I never understood the liberals whole hearted embace of the “green” agenda. Green energy costs more, Barack himself said “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

    Which means the cost of everything, not just energy, would surge. Meanwhile, the poor, the disadvantaged, would suffer.

    Yet the liberals choose windmills over heat, fuel or food for the poor.

    The liberal/cAGW plan for the poor is population control. A control figure of -90% seems to be popular.

  32. California and it’s laws, bylaws, law enforcemnet and judiciary are a mystery and a source of wide-eyed wonder in other parts of the English-speaking world. Most of us non-Californians have no idea how the state even functions, being so deeply in debt.

  33. Tom C says:
    Why isn’t the Obama administration knocking down the doors of federal courthouses in the ninth circuit to demand that California cease and desist for usurping federal supremacy or creating a state by state patchwork of environmental laws/emission regulations?

    You hit it on the head. But we all know why they won’t.

  34. Where does California measure the CO2 content of their air in order to determine if their reduction methods are working?

    If GLOBAL CO2 is a well-mixed gas, regardless of California’s contribution the rest of the world has a much larger contribution, hence any measurement they make in Ca will be swamped by this.

  35. Well I don’t think that the Court needs to deal with whether CO2 has been shown to be good, or bad, or indifferent.

    What the Courts need to deal with is why are unelected beurocrats making ANY laws of ANY kind.

    We should require that our elected representatives in Government actually write every last word, of every law that they sign into existence. That way they should know exactly what is in the laws; and why. Then we wouldn’t be getting all these unconstitutional laws.

    It’s the law that is unconstitutional ;has nothing to do with whether CO2 is good or bad.

  36. Brian H said February 5, 2011 at 8:42 pm “The liberal/cAGW plan for the poor is population control. A control figure of -90% seems to be popular.”

    Brian, I think that it is also “hoarding” . . . there’s not enough for everyone . . . like the depression and recent financial collapse . . . they want to “save themselves”.

    Even, with efficiencies . . . there is only so much energy, to me it is why robotics is more important than mechanization. They must have someone to do the grunt work for them . . .

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