California's Air Resources Board passed a cap and trade regulation for the state's top 600 industrial facilities that will almost certainly bring economic activity in the state to a near standstill:
The program is the centerpiece of the state's 2006 global warming law, which aims to slash carbon dioxide and other planet-heating pollution to 1990 levels by 2020. That would amount to a 15% cut from today's level.
The cap-and-trade system "will help drive innovation, create more green jobs and clean up our air and environment," said California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary D. Nichols, adding that it "provides flexibility" to industry and takes "into consideration the current economic climate."Carbon dioxide emissions, mostly from burning fossil fuels, are trapping heat in Earth's atmosphere, spurring changes in the climate. Scientists say California has begun to experience the effects, with hotter temperatures, rising sea levels and the melting of the Sierra snowpack, which provides fresh water for cities and farms.
Under the state's cap-and-trade plan, emissions from the 600 biggest industrial facilities, including cement manufacturers, electrical plants and oil refineries, would be capped in 2012, with that limit gradually decreasing over eight years in an effort to encourage energy efficiency and renewable sources of power.
Companies would be granted "allowances" for each metric ton of greenhouse gas they emit, and they could trade unused allowances among themselves to cut costs.
Cutting emissions by 15% in 8 years is economic suicide. There's no other way to say it. The federal cap and trade law was designed to cut a similar percentage of emissions but spread out over more than twice the time span. Many economists predicted a potential loss of GDP for the federal law of 3-5%. Can you imagine the devastation the California regulations will wreak on business?
It's like the California government is telling the people to pack up and leave, that there will be little opportunity in the former Golden State.