Green Party criticizes plans by ARB to undercut AB32 to benefit business polluters; Urges ARB to not cost Californians jobs, hurt environment and hike electric rates
GREEN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS RELEASE
SACRAMENTO (Dec 14, 2010) - The Green Party of California is very strongly criticizing plans by the state Air Resources Board to give away permits that would allow continued air pollution to industry, citing a published report that said such a plan would only increase pollution, raise consumer energy rates and cost Californians thousands of jobs.
In fact, contrary to claims by business, capping carbon emissions by large polluters would create more than 600,000 new jobs over the next 10 years, said Next10, a San Francisco green energy nonprofit.
"We agree with Next10 that a cap is a win-win situation - good for the planet, and the economy. But if the ARB has its way this Thursday by giving away a permits to the big polluters, it will be a non-incentive for business to change and in the end prevents California from gaining the most benefit in terms of new jobs created," said Wes Rolley, a Morgan, CA resident and former Co-Chair, U.S. Green Party EcoAction Committee.
Next10 estimated the state's cap-and-trade program, as proposed by the ARB, will increase electricity costs by from 2.3 percent to more than 4 percent per household by 2020. Industry's argument that California's climate change law would cost state jobs and increase electricity bills was rejected at the polls in November when an initiative to suspend AB32 was defeated.
"When the California Legislature passed AB 32, it was heralded as ground breaking and promised to be the model for other states, or countries, to follow. In last month's election, the citizens of California voted to protect the provisions of AB 32 from attack by unified oil interests (Valero, Tesoro and the Koch Brothers empire)," said Rolley.
"Having accomplished that much, we seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief and turned our attention to the next crisis du jour. Wrong choice! California's Air Resources Board (ARB), the organization responsible for defining the rules under which polluters would be permitted to continue business as usual, was giving away those permits," he added.
Rolley said ARB should not grant these exclusions to the state's heaviest polluters, and move forward towards implementing AB32 to clean up California's environment and create thousands of jobs. Doing it right will have minimal effect on rates but a huge positive effect on California's economy.
The Green Party of California