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The voters of California have, as expected, handed defeat to Proposition 23, the oil-company-backed initiative that would have rolled back Assembly Bill 32, a 2006 law that, among other things, forces the state to turn to cleaner methods of generating energy in order to cut carbon emission levels to 1990 levels by 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports that the bills opponents raised three times as much as supporters ($30 million to $10 million), even though a lot of money came from out-of-state oil companies, particularly from Texas in support of Prop 23. Before the vote but after the World Series ended, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement that read:
The San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers tonight, just like California voters are going to defeat the attempts of dirty Texas oil companies to undo our clean energy laws at the polls tomorrow.
Must be pretty sweet when your team and the environment win in the same week.

[Source: LA Times, Green Car Reports | Image: hjl – C.C. License 2.0]


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  • 45 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Prop 26 was passed though, which requires 2/3 agreement (much harder to achieve) for some of the fees California charges for environmental impact.

      Kind of funny how measures that add a requirement for 2/3 agreement, doesn't need 2/3 agreement to pass.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Alternative energy sources will really take off only when the FREE market determines the time is right and it is economically feasible. No amount of government force can truly change that.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        jfrye,

        I'll go one step further...it's not just the government...it's private entities and powerful forces that are not allowing a free market as you are defining it. This is all a game...one big game...it's rigged from the top.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, a free market is yet another idealistic thing.
        We subsidize the hell out of oil and coal. Alternative energy requires the same subsidy.. or hell, just eliminate subsidies for everything. Level the playing field and we'll see..
        • 4 Years Ago
        Noz, actually I think you're right. The government has its tentacles in many areas of business, mandating what it can and cannot do.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ MyLexicon:
        "You can't quantify negative externalities without government mandate or market-based exchanges"

        Health-care costs are market-based exchanges, as are the cost of water purification systems, (indirectly) the value of lost labor, and many other effects of pollution.
        Further, you can quantify negative externalities that damage the environment without market pricing mechanisms (or government mandates) through various survey-based tools. You may feel that the outputs of such tools are less "real" than a market price (I'd probably agree with you), but they can provide a dollar figure to work with.

        "Furthermore, there is no guarantee that using Pigovian taxes to promote societal efficiency will not have other unintended consequences."

        No, you're quite right; there's no guarantee. Just about the only guarantee in economics or politics is that an unregulated free market WILL have unintended consequences.

        "The sooner people drop the idea of using Pigovian taxes (academic discussion), the sooner we can find a real practical solution."

        How is discussion of Pigovian taxes inhibiting your ability to explore alternatives? That sounds an awful lot like "Your solution isn't bullet proof, so let's not do anything".

        ****
        I'll point out as an aside that Reagan liked Cap & Trade just fine when he was working to remove lead from gasoline, and again when he was working on protecting the ozone layer. Bush I used it to reduce sulphur emissions from power plants. Of course Cap & Trade isn't a Pigovian Tax in the strictest sense, so maybe that's what you mean when you talk about "a real practical solution".
        • 4 Years Ago
        Removing all subsidies would only be a start.
        There are real, measurable economic costs associated with certain kinds of energy generation (all kinds, if you want to be pedantic, but vastly different in magnitude between different technologies). A truly level playing field should internalize those costs:

        If you run a coal plant and cause $1 billion of damage to human health, air and water quality, etc., that cost should be paid by the coal generator, otherwise the economy is operating at an economically inefficient point. Nobody wants that, right jfrye?
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        There is no free market...don't you get it already?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Pigovian taxes as government policy? Why don't we discuss the possibility of utilizing Giffen goods?

        You can't quantify negative externalities without government mandate or market-based exchanges (which obey supply/demand not the cost to society). Furthermore, there is no guarantee that using Pigovian taxes to promote societal efficiency will not have other unintended consequences. It might not bring about any efficiency gains at all.

        Pigou's work was brilliant academia. He wanted to challenge economists to think about efficiency in new ways. Ultimately, the man criticized his own work and explained why it wasn't useful for practical application. The sooner people drop the idea of using Pigovian taxes (academic discussion), the sooner we can find a real practical solution.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good for Cali, for making a difference in a depressing election cycle. I just may move there and pretend they are an independent Republic instead.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've got it. Let's run all the business out of california, and we can all sit around and smoke pot.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Carbon emissions will continue to go down in the Golden State, however it looks like its business as usual with "drill baby drill" throughout the rest of the nation, at least in the near term. The EPA is going to wash down any upcoming CO2 legislation that will present a threat to the outcome of the 2012 election. Those Blue Dogs took a huge hit yesterday, and they are going to fight back to get in the game.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wall Street will use Cali as a litmus test for its new Repo Man tactic, in having its way with running the first "lease to own" Corp.-o-State. If you thought renting furniture was an interesting revenue extraction scheme, then you are really in for a show on how to deleverage a Nations outstanding national debt with the lease of one of its States. Subordinating the debt, of California's existing and outstanding liabilities, will be a boon to the portfolio diversification of our Arab and Asian creditors. It will be a win-win for the rest of the country, as quantitative easing will only erase so much near term debt.

      While the inflation boomerang is returning back to its launch platform, Wall Street in the mean time will rake in its service and handling fees for processing such a complicated and profitable transaction. Stand back, and let the transformation begin.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "only when the FREE market "

      True..let's STOP subsidizing oil, coal and gas then, to be fair, right?
      • 4 Years Ago
      California is lost in the twilight zone.

      Old religious verities have collapsed everywhere; but the Left Coast is actively denying their demise. The Lotus eaters of California are clinging to pseudo-Science as revealed by Divinity School dropouts, ersatz Green Hucksters, and rice-bowl seeking Charlatans in East Anglia/Penn State and EPA.

      The only good thing that California has produced recently is the Dr. McQuack's proposed toxic air emission regulations, the CARB LEV III air regulations. These at least end the farce and bring an end to 40 years of tightening regulation.

      There can be nothing to supersede them, as they mandate pure, pristine air for every energy source, when in effect. Astoundingly we can meet them eventually, even for now non-compliant Diesels. But even CARB had to admit that 25% of the predominately ICE cars on California's roads already meet the proposed CARB LEV III regulations, as new totally clean PZEV and ATZEV cars are sold and replace old dirtier ones. The hated and the evil automakers have actually made their cars cleaner than necessary. How can such evil profiteers ever do so?

      Long before that comes to pass, the ridiculous California energy policies will leave many Left Coast lotus eaters in the dark. Literally.

      Californians under the Green Loons, have grown increasingly dependent and rely on electricity imports for 30% of their juice today, and take it from every posible surrounding state and country, and even as far away as Colorado. In spite of the Great Recession, few states have much more to sell of their shrinking surplus capacity, and there is no new supplier to add, as all possible exporting sources have been tapped, and they are ail about tapped out. Meanwhile the California Green Weirdos continue to deny the construction of more electrical capacity, even Solar and Wind.

      Once a single exporting State's Utility is forbidden to continue to sell Power, than the whole House of cards will collapse. Since no one has enough to supply the missing portion. Welcome to multi-year rolling blackouts for California. California citizens will feel the weekly disruptions just like the fleeing California's industry has been forced to accept for quite a while, to hide the developing situation from the citizenry.

      I suppose there will always be leftist die-hards to disagree with modern Science, which has pretty much officially discredited the scientific GHG hypotheses of the 1890s through1950s. After all, there are still leftist die-hards who support Lysenkoist genetics. Or who still defend the whole cloth fabrications of Dr.Suk's embryonic Stem Cell research and faked "breakthroughs". Even as pleuripotent Self stem cell research makes tremendous progress, and faces no organ Rejection problems, at all.

      To htese people, even if Science has proved it wrong, the politically correct "Science" of marxism overrides all, and must make it so.



      • 4 Years Ago
      Good news; Prop 23 defeated, AB 32 LIVES!
      Bad News; Prop 26 wins, AB 32 implementation dies
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't blame me for 26, I didn't vote for it. But it won't matter as far as AB 32 is concerned, as that (and the fees involved) are already in effect, and Prop 26 doesn't affect fees already in place.
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      That proposition would have effectively repealled the clean air legislation because I can't see California's unemployment rate ever being under 5.5% under the anti business government California seems to be chronically burdened with. Will the last private industry to leave California please turn out the lights?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        The problem in California is the anti-tax "starve the Government" stance of the Conservative fringe has been seriously damaging the publicly funded infrastructure that business relies on, including education, water supplies, and transportation.
      Noz
      • 4 Years Ago
      FK TEXAS.
        Noz
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        AnalogDan...sorry you live in Texas...you deserve better.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        There's talk in TX of succession. I say go for it. Take the Tea Party with you.
        Daniel Hunter
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        As a liberal, non-Christian Texan that reads books, I say fk you, sir.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Noz
        AMEN
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