This is a departure for The Sacramento Bee~ctm
By Ben Boychuk
July 27, 2017 2:00 PM
Arnold Schwarzenegger really should be careful about calling people liars. Especially when he’s trying to pass off faith as scientific fact.
Maybe you saw the former governor and erstwhile action star berating conservatives the other day for refusing to accept his view that the answer to climate change is the heavy hand of government.
“Don’t those conservative Republicans get the message?” he asked. “And can’t they just think about it for a second and say, ‘Maybe we should stop lying to the people.’ Stop lying to the people. Stop it.”
Lying, eh? It’s a wonder he didn’t add, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Schwarzenegger was on hand Tuesday for Gov. Jerry Brown’s big cap-and-trade bill signing ceremony on Treasure Island in San Francisco. After months of wrangling and the eventual defection of eight Republicans, Brown and the Democrats succeeded in extending the program until 2030.
Under cap and trade, the state gives credits to certain carbon producers, such as power plants and manufacturers. “Polluters” may exceed their allotted carbon caps by purchasing (or “trading”) more credits from other credit holders. The state expects to raise billions of dollars on the scheme.
Schwarzenegger was there to lend a bipartisan veneer to the spectacle. Remember, he signed Assembly Bill 32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act,” at the same location a decade ago. The law mandated that Californians cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and another 80 percent by 2050 in “a manner that minimizes costs and maximizes benefits for the California economy.”
How has that worked so far? Schwarzenegger thinks it’s going just great. He said California showed how bipartisan cooperation can work, though he was a little iffy on the details.
California’s cap-and-trade program is full of carve-outs for industry. That’s the only way it can work without manufacturers abandoning the state wholesale and electricity and fuel prices climbing even higher than they are already.
And they’re quite high. California’s gasoline and electricity prices are the highest in the western United States. We had the highest gasoline taxes at around 54 cents a gallon, and they’re about to go up again in November between 12 cents and 19 cents per gallon, depending on the type of fuel. Cap-and-trade mandates will likely add another 63 cents a gallon by 2021, according to Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor. Low-income Californians will be hardest hit. The state’s answer seems to be, “Let them eat solar.”
Yet Schwarzenegger chided Republicans in Washington, D.C., for not following California’s lead. He was particularly harsh on President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.
“America did not drop out of the Paris agreement. America is fully in the Paris agreement,” Schwarzenegger said. “The states and the cities in America, the private sector, the academic sector, the scientists – everyone is still in the Paris agreement.”
Back in the real world, where the U.S. Constitution continues to hold some sway, America will drop out of the Paris agreement because the duly elected president judged it would be in the nation’s interest to do so.
But far be it from me to call the former governor a liar. He’s merely an actor on a stage playing a role.