CARB's Mary Nichols disallows presentation of public concerns on cap-and-trade carbon trading

California State Capital in Sacramento

California State Capital in Sacramento (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest post by Lorraine Yapps Cohen

California Air Resources Board (CARB) met on Thursday, May 24.  On the agenda was discussion toward deciding where and how to spend the billions raised from cap-and-trade carbon trading in the state.

At the public meeting was Betty Plowman, who attended the meeting to present a letter on behalf of the industries that CARB calls polluters, the California Construction Trucking Association (CCTA) and California Dump Truck Owners Association.  The letter describes CARB’s threats to these industries, induced by the Board’s regulations that are, in turn, based on junk science.  The letter’s signatories indicate intention to seek reparations for the regulated class under CARB’s repression in California.

CARB Chairman Mary Nichols let the clock conduct the agenda and closed the meeting at 5 p.m. before Plowman could present the letter. The world according to CARB disallows any voicing of concerns. 

“It was just another day in paradise, wasn’t it?” said Plowman in her personal communications on the meeting.  “I thought of ‘The Price is Right’ announcer saying ‘come on down.’  Everyone get their hands out; decide where this windfall should go.”

CARB disallowed the presentation of public concerns.  Mary Nichols, in her authoritative overreach, simply adjourned the meeting when dissenting perspective tried to be heard, as seen in this video:

Despite that the letter received no air time at the CARB meeting, the matter is not likely to go away.  The tyranny of Mary Nichols and CARB wears thin on the regulated.  Their letter seeking reparations follows.

RE: Reparations to the Regulatory Class in California

Dear Governor Brown | Mary Nichols:

Recently, Robert Jenne, Assistant Counsel to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a written statement that we in the specific industries that CARB recognizes as polluters are hereby branded as the “Regulated Class” in California and subject to the rule and regulation of the agency and are bound to accept their rule at any cost. The class includes those who live and work productively in the transportation, manufacturing, construction and agriculture/forestry sectors of the California economy.

In this letter we inform you of the first action we are taking to meet this threat to our livelihood and our freedom, enacted by unelected bureaucrats without the due process guaranteed to us by the Constitution.

We the undersigned reject the classification by CARB. In the state of California we represent a minority of the population and have been singled out by regulators simply because we produce the goods and services required to build and maintain a modern society. We request Governor Jerry Brown, Chairman Mary Nichols and the State of California make payment as reparations, to those individuals and commercial entities who have been severely damaged by laws and regulations. These laws and regulations are based on junk science, sometimes conducted by individuals without valid credentials, contrived to achieve the control now shown to be the objective behind the charade.

Certain California state employees, board members, members of certain scientific review panels, and members of the California legislature and bureaucracy pushed these laws through the Legislature and its agencies without concern for the well being of its citizens, the public health, and the economic well being of the regulated class. Under the guise of a moral crusade to protect the environment, these agents of California government have generated an accumulating residue of economic damage, unintended consequences, bureaucracy and repression. Indeed agents of California government have learned to manufacture hypothetical threats in order to cement and expand state power and to enable the collection of funds needed to sustain and expand its grip.

California is unique in its extremism and excesses in the ruthless pursuit of societal control. The collapse of the Western Climate Initiative gives evidence that California stands alone in North Americain its activism and agenda. In the same way that the 19th century Confederacy rationalized and defended keeping a large segment of its productive population under extreme exploitive control, today the state government of California takes for granted its ability to control the backbone of its productive population. As Americans we are reclaiming our unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Hundreds of thousands of California citizens and businesses have been displaced and/or lost their jobs, careers and homes over agendas borne by radical agents in the California legislature, executive offices, and its supporting cast of NGOs and academics. We as citizens of California can no longer bear the brunt of this attack on our freedoms and exercise our right to protect ourselves from these excessive regulations designed to end our livelihoods and our well being.

The losses borne by this “Regulated Class” are immense. Details will be provided to you in the form of actual losses from regulations borne by the California Air Resource Board that have no benefit to Man or the environment. We will base our demand for reparations on this accounting.



The reality is that the state will find a way to grab the money to support its continuing out of control spending, now in the red to the tune of over 16 billion dollars. In effect, this just becomes a backdoor tax scheme. See

The letter’s signatories indicate the intention to seek reparations for damages to the “regulated class” as defined by CARB.  In so doing the class placed itself as a new example of minority exploitation by a repressive state government.


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Hey, remember when Schwarzenegger said he was going to get rid of CARB? Good times, good times.
I’ve had a couple of run-ins with that agency, my experience was they had less concern with air quality and more with maintaining and expanding their bureaucratic domain and sense of control over others (and of course budget).

There’s just nothing like a leftist bully.

I am not an American and I am writing to ask a question that derives from genuine ignorance of the procedures of American government(s).
The video shows Ms Nichols said the meeting was “not a Hearing”. And, from her stated reasons for being “disappointed”, it is clear she was not receptive to disagreement with the proposals that were the subject of the meeting.
So, can somebody tell a disinterested onlooker (i.e. me) if the legislative process includes another public meeting to be held at a later date which will accept petitions from members of the public?

Pull My Finger

Fascism comes wearing a smiley face and sandals.

I had to replay that twice to be sure. In the opening shot, it shows the board.
Their listing shows 11 members. Did a quorum ever exist for this “meeting”?
That alone would make any decisions made by the board moot.
Trying to find the minutes for this meeting…


California is billions of dollars in debt and they’re having hearings on what to do with a new revenue source…
No wonder they’re headed towards bankruptcy

Gail Combs

Were they following the correct “parliamentary procedure” ? It would have to be presented under “New Business” and it might require a sponsor before it could be presented.
If you do not know the rules under which the meeting operates you are going to be SOL
This observation is from my husband who covers town meetings as a newspaper “stringer” and his familiarity with The Ballad of Robert’s Rules by George Flynn. (NESFA hymnal Vol 2.) unfortunately not available on line.
Maybe it is time for a youtube (at least he can carry a tune)

Pete Olson

I have always asked, “Why does CARB even exist?” Talk about a redundant waste of taxpayer money – and that’s without even considering their tyrannical behavior.


I’m still puzzled how California plans to get C&T past the courts since it is either a new tax that hasn’t been voted on with the proper majority or a government mandated purchase which is unconstitutional. I guess that’s where magical thinking comes in once again.

Don Keiller


Rhoda R

Richard Courtney: I’d say, as a guess, that based on past experience that any new meeting will most definately NOT allow the petition concerns to be addressed. CARB has two functions: 1) to increase tax revenue to the state and 2) regulate “dirty” businesses out of it. Once they get rid of all that nasty capitalism the fairy farts can fund the state’s social agenda.

Myron Mesecke

Kalifornia.Taking up where Lenin and Stalin left off.

Hire a few more public servants and establish a few more tribunals, enquiries and authorities. Only way to go.

Rhoda R:
Thankyou for your answer to my question. Unless someone provides a more definitive answer I will take your “guess” as being correct.
I suppose it must all be part of the existence of a written Constitution; i.e. nobody gets what is not written. Perhaps you will recognise that such things are not easy to understand when – being British as I am – one has always been the subject of a constitutional monarchy.
Anyway, I watch with interest. Again, thankyou.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

It was previously said if California was split off from the US it would be the sixth largest economy in the world. Has the EU gotten so messed up that this is still true?
It’s like two guys stopped on a highway arguing in the middle of the night, one driving a Prius, the other a Peugeot. A semi comes by, smashes them both, keeps on going. Afterwards both are on the ground with two broken legs each.
California speaks up, “Ha, I won!”
EU says “What do you mean? We are both seriously hurt, neither of us are walking away from this.”
California says “Yeah, but I got a longer torso so I can sit up taller than you. Plus I’m much more handsome. Winning!!


Simple… MOVE. Let the inbred bureaucrats haul their own crap.

Mike Smith

Public consultation? At which all opposing views were shut out?
It’s a sham and a disgrace.
And don’t you just love the way the charming Mary Nichols laughs as she thanks the dissenters for their (unheard) input and slams the door in their faces. What a basty nitch!


Merovign says:
“Hey, remember when Schwarzenegger said he was going to get rid of CARB? Good times, good times.”
I remember… It wasn’t all that long before that shiftless liar decided instead to eliminate the previously-existing 30-year rolling smog-test exemption for passenger cars (once the car passed 30 years of age, it no longer required biennial testing) and instead freeze the date at the 1975 model year. If your car is 1976 or newer in California and you’re in the counties covered by biennial smog test requirements (aka, ‘actual population centers’), your car is now and forever be required to pass the smog test… and they keep tightening the ‘pass’ standards on the tests, too – – it now in many cases requires these cars to meet higher standards than were required when they were new. Regardless of many smog-specific components not having been manufactured for 20+ years.
I have a trophy-winning 1980 show car that gets driven less than 1000 miles a year; I’ve spent countless hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars keeping it ‘smog legal.’ It’s actual ‘pollution’ impact is effectively zero, using less than 50 gallons of gas a year. My housecats likely emit more greenhouse gasses in a year than that car does.
CARB at one time did necessary and useful duty cleaning up the air in CA’s biggest cities, but it has (as all unlimited bureaucracies will) metastasized into a bloated, amorphous monster that knows no practical bounds and now exists for no other reasons than to expand its power and reward its minions.
Much like the state government, but without generating even the ill-advised handouts the elected buffoons have to keep tossing out to stay in their jobs. Bureaucracies like the CARB are all ‘take.’

Northern California Bureaucrat

CARB isn’t all bad, and has had some reasonable successes over the decades that have resulted in measurably better air quality – think catalytic converters, PCV systems, fuel vapor recovery systems, and other devices which resulted in a tangible increase in air quality in places like the LA basin. But CARB as it exists in 2012, pushing ever more expensive solutions for ever decreasing returns, is clearly off the rails.

Peter Whale

So far the only court case I can remember taking place was in the UK, where Al Gore’s film ” An Inconvenient Truth” was adjudged to contain lies. I have been waiting for various other cases to come to court but it seems to be a long time coming. I can see a queue of cases forming and one day the flood gates will open and the courts will be full of (global warming) climate change litigation only then will the truth be laid bare.

Dan in California

Cal EPA (yes, the state has their own EPA because the federal version isn’t draconian enough) listens to CARB. This has historically eliminated Diesel cars from California. Plus there are 7 other states that automatically follow California’s auto requirements. The result is that few manufacturers sell Diesels in the USA. Since Diesel cars get about 20% better mileage than spark ignition cars, and about half the cars sold in Europe are Diesels, CARB is solely responsible for about a 10% increase in automobile fuel consumption in the USA.
Reference: Volkswagen and Mercedes both sell spark ignition and Diesel engines in the same car model (Jetta and E-class). In both cases, the Diesels win by 20% or more in the same car.
And in the department of redundancy department, California also has the South Coast Air Quality Management District, just in case EPA, Cal EPA, and CARB may have missed something.


The C.A.R.B. is quickly placing the state in a position where it is at war with its population. Recent decisions are going to cause electricity rates to skyrocket. People are going to want to use wood for heating and cooking at the rate things are going but if it is not a “burn day”, you can be fined or even jailed for burning wood. The CARB must go. At least cut its budget by 85%. None of the 56 other states have an ARB, why does California even need one?

Author of the letter

The board was in full attendance just prior to the negative comments that started to show up, including Senator Fran Pavley, the author of AB32 and Cap N Trade legislation. Once the negative comments started to come in, one by one, the board members left, leaving only Mary Nichols and her staff member remaining. The public has no say in California, neither do the lawmakers want to hear from the public. It is afterall a one party system more liberal than any socialist country.


and who is going to be stuck paying the reparations?
ha ha ha.
so the regulated class will be demanding part of the loot.
that will surely solve the problem of looting, eh?
freakin nutz

Tom in Florida

richardscourtney says:
May 31, 2012 at 12:43 pm
I do not know what the actual legal standing this meeting was held under. However, as a frequent participant in these types of meetings I can tell you that it doesn’t matter. If you disagree with the agenda of those elected officials, they will smile, thank you for your input and simply go do what ever they please. Also as sure as death and taxes, these meetings usually take place in the afternoon when most people are actually working and cannot attend.


If you read “Ecotopia” and “Ecotopia Emerging” the portrait which emerges of the Ecotopian leader is one that obviously took a page from Allende. Callenbach clearly modeled his utopia after short lived Allende era Chile. Is it any surprise that we now have people who are just like that running the “Eco-bureaucracy?”


and australia is going down the same drain we start our carbon tax $23 a ton 7/1/2012 ? to Nichols and Gillard why do you hate us so much


In the end, when all is said, there is nothing like a well placed offer politicians can’t refuse.

Ed, "Mr." Jones

Someone forgot to put a Finger in the Dike of Bureaucracy- might have gotten a friendlier hearing.

To; Richard Courtney
The meeting was pro forma — a regulatory requirement that the state get “input” on what to do with its windfall of funds that will be coming its way under Cap-and_Trade. So all manner of characters showed up with ideas for spending and with hands out for a piece of the action. In reality the State will use it to help close its well known shortfall in government worker pension funds and for various boondoggles That is, it is the backdoor tax to allow California to continue its descent to Greek or Spanish status.
With this in mind, Chairman Nichols was ill prepared and did not take kindly to the floor challenge to the very premise of the whole business: A shake down of the wealth-generating sector of the economy, under the guise of saving the planet. Everyone knows that climate has nothing to do with it, but in the one-party state of California, too few can or do pay attention to what is really going on.
As for a written Constitution, it helps to have one, but you have to sign on to adhering to it. Her Majesty’s government does not have a written one, but it has not done badly, by and large.

These dirty old capitalist regulated class MUST purchase carbon offsets from the government.
I wonder who sells them to the gov’t. Horses & buggies and electric car owners, Maybe. Or is this a subsidy for solar/wind money losers.

Dan in California said:
May 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Cal EPA (yes, the state has their own EPA because the federal version isn’t draconian enough)
Why hasn’t obama launched a lawsuit against California like he did against Arizona when, in its struggle against illegal-alienism, it attempted to abet Fed authority?
Eric “Fast & Furious” Holder said: “”Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility…”
But California has its own EPA, setting environmental policy and enforcing – are they not usurping Federal powers like Arizona tried to do?
I guess it suits obama to have a state-based shadow of his Fed politburo so he can govern by fiat through his barackracy.
I wannna get outa California before the green-curtain becomes as inescapably strong as the iron one was.

D Caldwell

This meeting was to discuss disposition of the C&T funds already mandated by CA law – not to discuss the merits of C&T. The letter and dissenting comments were misplaced.
The CA legislature is the only place where this madness can be stopped.

R. Shearer

If California weren’t so far left, it could take Greece’s place in the Euro Zone.

Robert of Ottawa

A true Commissar. What is it about the modern US “Democrats” that so like playing Czars and Commissars. Hmmm… could be the name of a political board-game, a kind of inverse Monopoly.

for all of you in California, all I can say is…
Come to Texas!!! Texas is open for business, and we want you!
You want to feel appreciated for creating jobs rather than punished?

Randle Dewees

Fat malignant spider
I’ve lived in this state for far too long…

John from CA

This was released today. The weird part of all this, the general public doesn’t support cap-and-trade and 2/3rds feel California is on the wrong track.
NEW: Cap & Trade parasite bill signals civil war on business
May 31, 2012
By Wayne Lusvardi
Speaker John A. Perez’s push of Assembly Bill 1532 through the State Assembly on Tuesday, May 29, signals a shift from regulation of air pollution to an outright civil war on business and industry in California.
AB 1532 is not content with just using pollution taxes collected under California’s Cap and Trade emissions trading program to lower water, power, and natural gas bills for ratepayers, due to the looming higher price of green power. Rather, AB 1532 will directly use Cap and Trade taxes to parasitically transfer jobs taken from the private sector, to political pork jobs in the public sector. It could also end up circumventing the limitation of new taxes of Propositions 13 and 26. The passage of AB 1532 is a provocative act that crosses the line between regulation and outright plunder of the private sector for public sector make work green jobs programs.

John from CA

Link to the AB 32 Poll results:
The poll, authored by the AB 32 Implementation Group, submitted the polling information to the CARB, but it appears that CARB has turned a deaf ear on Californians.

Tom Johnson

Several decades ago I participated in a CARB hearing on dealing with airborne asbestos in California. Early in the meeting a presenter described a relatively short gravel road in California made from asbestos containing rocks. He suggested that this road alone was responsible for 30 percent of the airborne asbestos in the state.
Later, several of us from the auto industry discussed asbestos brake linings. There was significant debate whether or not asbestos in brakes were responsible for 0.01 percent of the asbestos exposure in the state, or 0.0001 percent. Debate centered on a presentation showing data that 99 percent of the asbestos in brake linings is transformed into Forsterite (dirt) during braking. CARB, of course, declared that ALL of the asbestos in linings ended up in California air, even that in junk yards.
I made a suggestion that we turn our attention to finding a method of paving the asbestos roadway rather than arguing about how much of brake linings turn into Forsterite. A CARB member curtly shut off all further discussion with the curt reply: “We don’t regulate roads. We regulate YOU because we already have a process in place for regulating you.”

Dan in California said:
May 31, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Cal EPA (yes, the state has their own EPA because the federal version isn’t draconian enough)
Why hasn’t obama launched a lawsuit against California like he did against Arizona when, in its struggle against illegal-alienism, it attempted to abet Fed authority?
Eric “Fast & Furious” Holder said: “”Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility…”
But California has its own EPA, setting environmental policy and enforcing – are they not usurping Federal powers like Arizona tried to do?

Okay guys; you gotta go read up on this – California established ‘CARB’ (or its predecessor) BEFORE the passage of the Clean Air Act (which in 1970 addressed/established requirements for air pollution controls):

The California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB or ARB, is the “clean air agency” in the government of California. Established in 1967 when then-governor Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act, combining the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board, CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency.
California is the only state that is permitted to have such a regulatory agency, since it is the only state that had one before the passage of the federal Clean Air Act. Other states are permitted to follow CARB standards, or use the federal ones, but not set their own.

Peter Lang

Wow. This is similar to what happened in Australia with our legislation for CO2 tax and Emissions Trading Scheme (i.e. Cap and Trader). The Government called for submissions to a Join Parliamentary Committee on “Australia Clean Energy Future Legislation” Over 4500 submissions were received. The Committee, under control of the Government and the Greens, decided only 70 submissions were acceptable. The others were classified as correspondence, not submissions, and were not published. Some of the 70 that were accepted were dated and received after the closing date.
What a fiasco. That’s how democracy works under the current “down under” government.

John from CA

Tom Johnson says:
May 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm
“We don’t regulate roads. We regulate YOU because we already have a process in place for regulating you.”
My wife and I moved out here a couple of years ago from the East Coast. We’re convinced there has to be something to explain the attitude in California but haven’t discovered it yet. Maybe its a missing gene.

Peter Lang

I estimate the costs for the Australian CO2 tax and Cap and Trade legislation at nine times the benefits, and that is if the assumptions of an optimal system are implemented by the world, in unison, starting July 1, 2012! Explanation below.
Benefit to cost ratio of the Australian CO2 pricing scheme to 2050
In an interesting exchange between Roger W. Cohen, William Happer and Richard Lindzen, and reply by William D. Nordhaus on “The New York Review of Books” here Professor William Nordhaus (hereafter WN) said:

The final part of the response of CHL comes back to the economics of climate change and public policy. They make two major points: that the difference between acting now and doing nothing for fifty years is “insignificant economically or climatologically,” and that the policy questions are dominated by major uncertainties.
Is the difference between acting now and waiting fifty years indeed “insignificant economically”? Given the importance attached to this question, I recalculated this figure using the latest published model. When put in 2012 prices, the loss is calculated as $3.5 trillion, and the spreadsheet is available on the Web for those who would like to check the calculations themselves. If, indeed, the climate skeptics think this is an insignificant number, they should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now

Particularly note this bit:

When put in 2012 prices, the loss is calculated as $3.5 trillion, …. If, indeed, the climate skeptics think this is an insignificant number, they should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.

I am surprised that WN says the $3.5 trillion is a significant number, given that it is cumulative to 2050 and is for the whole world. I am also surprised that WN says skeptics “should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.” I consider the Australian situation and calculate the costs to achieve the Australian share of the $3.5 trillion reduction in climate damages would be around nine times greater than Australia’s share of the estimated $3.5 trillion saving. Here is how I did my calculations.
I converted the estimated $3.5 trillion world damages avoided to the Australian proportion on the basis of Australia’s share of world GDP, i.e. 1.17%. So Australia’s share of damages avoided is 1.17% x $3.5 trillion = $41 billion. That is the cumulative damages avoided by Australia to 2050. It assumes an optimal CO2 price, the whole world implements the CO2 price in unison, and an economically efficient system is implemented across the whole world. It also assumes Australia’s share of world GDP remains constant.
The Australian Treasury estimated the loss of GDP that our legislated CO2 tax and ETS will cause. [ However, it seems they may have underestimated because they, apparently, have not estimated the compliance cost]. The cumulative loss of GDP to 2050 is $1,345 billion (undiscounted) (Chart 5:13), or $390 billion discounted at 4.34%, which I believe is the discount rate that is the default in RICE (2012) and gives the value of $3.5 trillion quoted by WN.
If my calculations are correct, the benefit, to Australia, of the optimum CO2 tax rate (if the world implements an economically efficient CO2 pricing scheme in unison) would be $41 billion and the cost (reduced GDP) would be $390 billion. Therefore, the benefit to cost ratio is 0.11. [benefit/cost should be greater than 1 for the policy to be justified] .
Therefore, I do not understand WN’s statement that “[sceptics] should not object to spending much smaller sums for slowing climate change starting now.” My calculations suggest we would spend nine times greater sums, not smaller sums, to achieve the benefits estimated by WN.

Mac the Knife

There is a remedy avaialble. It’s time for a ‘Hokey Pokey Election’ in Greater California!
“You put the right ones in. You take the left ones out…..That’s what it’s all about!”


_Jim says:
May 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm
“Okay guys; you gotta go read up on this –….”
To what end.
The weak minded, want the short story.

Frank K.

wws says:
May 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm
for all of you in California, all I can say is…
Come to Texas!!! Texas is open for business, and we want you!
You want to feel appreciated for creating jobs rather than punished?

And in doing so, they will also bring their ELECTORAL VOTES to Texas… [hee, hee]

Mods, a re-do por favor due to a formatting muff …

_Jim says:
May 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm
“Okay guys; you gotta go read up on this –….”
u.k.(us) says:
May 31, 2012 at 7:03 pm
To what end.
The weak minded, want the short story.

If you had been sharp in your first cursory read, you would have noticed that I included the vital Cliff’s Notes ‘takeaway’/sound bite version … right? (Who, what, where/location and when/dates/times, relevant jurisdictional authority etc … right?) and taking note of those ‘vitals’ their argument and ensuing discussion re: Cal EPA vs Fed EPA jurisdiction (here is a quiz for you) is:
a) sublime or
b) moot?

Peter Lang says:
May 31, 2012 at 6:45 pm
Nordhaus slipped the argument from the likelihood of any climate damage at all to … is X trillion dollars signficant. As usual with the advocates, you have to keep your eye on the pea. Cohen, Lindzen and Happer simply pointed out that it is silly to quote computed benefits to three signficant figures when we don’t know the climate sensitivity to even one signficant figure. And it is very likely that the sensitivity is much smaller than assumed by WN.
Econs like Nordhaus either don’t understand the simplest concepts of uncertainty or they are simply disingenuous.