by Paul Taylor
by Paul Taylor
Waxman Climate Bill is California Dreamin
Thirty-four-year US Representative, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman of Los Angeles is the key sponsor of the recently-passed (yet unread) American Clean Energy and Security Act; a.k.a., the “Waxman-Markey Climate Bill.” The thousand-paged bill narrowly passed the House along partisan lines, and is expected to be severely scaled back or killed in ongoing Senate deliberations. Waxman’s bill copies the costly and ubiquitous green regulations that have caused businesses and the middleclass to flee California in recent decades. In the midst of recession, the fanciful green economy of Waxman- Markey carbon taxes and bureaucratic bingeing for purely symbolic, marginal environmental improvements that now cripple California will surely stall any national economic recovery.
Historically, California’s eco-groups have contrived legal and regulatory processes that provide its wealthy an opportunity to act out their desire to "make a difference" -- often without any concern for fiscal impacts. Environmentalism then becomes a theater in which the privileged act out their narcissism to gain green redemption. (Kotkin, 2008) The result is a maze of costly and often redundant environmental regulations that punish innovation and prosperity, and impose increased costs of living upon those among us who can least afford them. Environmentalists sell you on the rhetoric of virtue, but are never held accountable for their destructive impacts under critical criteria of economics, national security and scientific rigor. Chronic eco-group obstructions have reached a tipping point in the hysterics of global climate change as the global economic recession deepens.
California is (perhaps was) the seventh largest economy in the world. Today, the Golden State faces a budget shortfall of about $20 billion – 10% higher than the budget debacle that lead to the recall of former Governor Davis in 2003. As California issues IOUs, Standard & Poors has downgraded the state’s bond rating to the worst in the nation – just above junk bond status. Can California, or America, really afford any more green during a recession? Maybe a freeze on climate regulations would be a good way to spur America’s economic recovery. Right now, America needs a growing economy, not a green economy