February 4, 2011
California global warming regulations voided by judge (updated)
California's sweeping plan to institute cap and trade and regulate "greenhouse gases" has been thrown out by a San Francisco judge.
The California Air Resources Board violated state environmental law in 2008 when it adopted a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gases and again last year when it passed cap-and-trade regulations, a San Francisco Superior Court judge has ruled in a tentative decision. [snip]In his decision, Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled that the air board approved the larger plan to implement AB32 prior to completing the required environmental review, and that the board failed to adequately consider alternatives to cap and trade.The Air Resources Board "seeks to create a fait accompli by premature establishment of a cap-and-trade program before alternative (sic) can be exposed to public comment and properly evaluated by the ARB itself," Goldsmith found, adding that the air board's "analysis provides no evidence to support its chosen approach."
The California Air Resources Board has sweeping powers, and is regarded by many as arrogant. Apparently Judge Goldsmith has found that it acted without due consideration.
Jane Jameson of Uncoverage.net colorfully summarizes:
The propeller-head bureaucrats in the state EPA, the Air Resources Board and the enviro-mentals who passed the "cap and trade" have basically created so god-damned many "green" regulations that no one can keep them all straight and some of the rules are hurting some of the people they are supposed to help. Duhhhhhhhhhhhh......and just think: hundreds of these geniuses are all drawing state salaries and pensions. They just spent 10 years creating a legal "cluster-f++k" that a judge is throwing out in one stroke of the pen. What a typical California scenario!! Even so.....hugs and KISSES to Judge Ernest Goldsmith, possibly the only judge in the city of San Francisco with any sense at all!!!
There will, of course, be appeals. But the greenies have lost a round, tripped up by the complexity of the process they implemented.
Update: A reader advises us this may not be exactly a victory:
The actual case is far different from the news stories. Rather than a setback for the Greenhouse Gas regulations, it is an effort to vastly broaden the scope.
The group Association of Irritated Residents (AIR) is a far left environmental group. The court decision is here.
AIR argues that the Air Resources Board (ARB) did not go far enough in its regulations. They want agriculture along with many other industries included in the regulations instead of just the major emitters of greenhouse gas emissions.
For example, the opinion states on page 10 that "Petitioners first allege that ARB failed to include direct emissions reduction measures from the agricultural sector". (AIR is a San Joaquin valley based group which files suits against the EPA and other regulatory bodies to try to clean up the valley air.)
It is apparent that this is an effort to get the Air Resources Board to broaden its regulations to include a much larger number of businesses. If AIR can get the ARB to agree, the net effect would be to impose much more draconian GHG regulations on California businesses.