As California goes...

As the EPA prepares to issue a finding that carbon-dioxide is a danger to public health, it is instructive to look at a real life example of the consequences.  As has been discussed on American Thinker, EPA director Lisa Jackson has the ability to single-handedly deliver a knockout punch to the economy with her CO2 finding.  There are indications the announcement of an "endangerment finding" could be made on April 2nd, the anniversary of the 2007 supreme court decision declaring that CO2 is an air pollutant.  Such a finding would require the EPA by law to draft regulations that would govern CO2 emissions from power plants, industrial sites, vehicles and any other source.  It would create a monster:

Administration officials have said they would limit regulation to facilities over a certain size. But legal experts say designating carbon dioxide a public danger could open up any emitters to legal challenge. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have been lobbying the EPA for months against trying to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, warning that such action would lead to costly new regulations affecting not only coal plants and large manufacturers but also schools, apartment buildings and hospitals.  "Once carbon dioxide is regulated, they can no longer contain the Clean Air Act...and it would completely shut the country down," said William Kovacs, a chamber vice president.

The threat of EPA bureaucrats regulating and levying fines for CO2 emissions may be a wedge to prod congress to pass Obama's economy-killing cap and trade tax scheme, as many in congress are uneasy with the EPA regulating emissions, especially members who have coal-fired plants or industrial sites in their districts.  But what happens when industries are targeted by CO2 regulations?  California passed a measure in 2006 to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which Washington is looking to as a model.  A recent column in the New York Times gives us a pretty good idea of the consequences.  For more than 100 years the Calportland cement company has manufactured cement from its limestone quarry in Colton, California, outside of Los Angeles.  Already under pressure from plunging prices and profits, the company is facing large new expenses from the cost of meeting California's CO2 control regulations.    

State regulators have projected that retrofitting the state’s 11 cement plants would cost $220 million and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 percent per ton of cement. But CalPortland’s executives say it would cost more than that to retrofit the Colton plant alone.  “We don’t have enough limestone left to invest $200 million,” said James A. Repman, the company’s president.

Economists quoted in the Times column said the state's cost analysis


unconvincingly portrayed the law as "a riskless free lunch," and that the regulators were “systematically biased” in ways “that lead to potentially severe underestimates of costs.”

Since Calportland can not justify the expense of upgrading the plant, the alternative is to close the plant and eliminate the 140 jobs it provides.  The response of the carbon law's supporters to that prospect - be sure you are sitting down before you read this - tells all we need to know about the priorities here:

And the law’s supporters note that less economic activity means reduced emissions of heat-trapping gases, making the law’s goals — cutting carbon-dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — easier to meet.


So reducing jobs is okay as long as there is less carbon dioxide.  That fits the whole Obama premise, that as long as he gets more taxes to redistribute, growth and prosperity don't matter.

The column goes on of course to a "climate economist" who states that the "science is increasingly clear," and to deride the "excuse that more study is needed."  Excuse me, but before we turn the economy on its ear yet again, further study of the consequences is needed.  "As California goes, so goes the nation" was once an expression of optimism, but it is now a warning of caution.
As the EPA prepares to issue a finding that carbon-dioxide is a danger to public health, it is instructive to look at a real life example of the consequences.  As has been discussed on American Thinker, EPA director Lisa Jackson has the ability to single-handedly deliver a knockout punch to the economy with her CO2 finding.  There are indications the announcement of an "endangerment finding" could be made on April 2nd, the anniversary of the 2007 supreme court decision declaring that CO2 is an air pollutant.  Such a finding would require the EPA by law to draft regulations that would govern CO2 emissions from power plants, industrial sites, vehicles and any other source.  It would create a monster:

Administration officials have said they would limit regulation to facilities over a certain size. But legal experts say designating carbon dioxide a public danger could open up any emitters to legal challenge. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have been lobbying the EPA for months against trying to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, warning that such action would lead to costly new regulations affecting not only coal plants and large manufacturers but also schools, apartment buildings and hospitals.  "Once carbon dioxide is regulated, they can no longer contain the Clean Air Act...and it would completely shut the country down," said William Kovacs, a chamber vice president.

The threat of EPA bureaucrats regulating and levying fines for CO2 emissions may be a wedge to prod congress to pass Obama's economy-killing cap and trade tax scheme, as many in congress are uneasy with the EPA regulating emissions, especially members who have coal-fired plants or industrial sites in their districts.  But what happens when industries are targeted by CO2 regulations?  California passed a measure in 2006 to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which Washington is looking to as a model.  A recent column in the New York Times gives us a pretty good idea of the consequences.  For more than 100 years the Calportland cement company has manufactured cement from its limestone quarry in Colton, California, outside of Los Angeles.  Already under pressure from plunging prices and profits, the company is facing large new expenses from the cost of meeting California's CO2 control regulations.    

State regulators have projected that retrofitting the state’s 11 cement plants would cost $220 million and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12 percent per ton of cement. But CalPortland’s executives say it would cost more than that to retrofit the Colton plant alone.  “We don’t have enough limestone left to invest $200 million,” said James A. Repman, the company’s president.

Economists quoted in the Times column said the state's cost analysis


unconvincingly portrayed the law as "a riskless free lunch," and that the regulators were “systematically biased” in ways “that lead to potentially severe underestimates of costs.”

Since Calportland can not justify the expense of upgrading the plant, the alternative is to close the plant and eliminate the 140 jobs it provides.  The response of the carbon law's supporters to that prospect - be sure you are sitting down before you read this - tells all we need to know about the priorities here:

And the law’s supporters note that less economic activity means reduced emissions of heat-trapping gases, making the law’s goals — cutting carbon-dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — easier to meet.


So reducing jobs is okay as long as there is less carbon dioxide.  That fits the whole Obama premise, that as long as he gets more taxes to redistribute, growth and prosperity don't matter.

The column goes on of course to a "climate economist" who states that the "science is increasingly clear," and to deride the "excuse that more study is needed."  Excuse me, but before we turn the economy on its ear yet again, further study of the consequences is needed.  "As California goes, so goes the nation" was once an expression of optimism, but it is now a warning of caution.