Sanity in the Main Stream Media
Our View: Global-warming welfare coming
Anticipating hundreds of millions of dollars a year in greenhouse gas fees collected from California businesses, the Legislature is planning to redistribute much of the bounty to the state's "most impacted and disadvantaged communities."
Perhaps a bill pending in the state Senate reveals the motive of feel-good legislative efforts to fight global warming: a massive redistribution of wealth.
Assembly Bill 1405 calls for 30 percent of new fees raised under global warming regulations yet to be drafted to go to a Community Benefits Fund to be used in specially selected communities, based on specific criteria also yet to be drafted.
A Senate analysis says anticipated new rules by the state Air Resources Board allow revenue from fees imposed on greenhouse gas emitters to pay for the board's administrative costs, but not for "climate-change-related mitigation activities."
AB 1405, authored by assembly members Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, and V. Manuel Perez, D-Indio, would amend the so-called Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 to require 30 percent of money raised by fees under consideration by the Air Resources Board to be "used solely in the most impacted and disadvantaged communities…" The 2006 law provides broadly that "revenues collected pursuant to this section, shall be deposited into the Air Pollution Control Fund and are available upon appropriation, by the Legislature, for purposes of carrying out this division."
As proposed, the money would provide "competitive grants" to reduce emissions and install equipment and "energy efficiency upgrades for schools, senior centers or low-income housing." Money collected from businesses statewide would be redistributed according to "socioeconomic indicators," including income and poverty levels, educational attainment and "linguistic isolation."
The air board is considering fees to raise about $54 million a year, restricted to paying its administrative costs. This bill begins the political divvying up of the anticipated pot of cash to be extracted from California businesses, ostensibly to curb global warming, a likely non-existent threat, which probably would be unaffected by the state's regulations even if it were a threat. Favored recipients would reap at least $18 million a year from proposed fees and as much as "hundreds of millions" if the air board imposes a cap-and-trade emission scheme.
Someone selected by politicians and bureaucrats stands to profit from millions extracted from private hands. But the economic damage far outweighs speculative benefits of curbing global temperatures, which haven't increased in a decade.