Gov. Jerry Brown called for new initiatives in his inaugural address in January and Senate Democrats have jumped on the opportunity.
Senate leader Kevin de Leon from Los Angeles has introduced one bill that would require utilities to generate 50 percent of their power from renewable sources (notably not including hydro) as well as giving the dictatorial air board the power to establish regulations to reduce petroleum use in vehicles by 50 percent by 2030. Sen. Fran Pavley's bill would lock former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ill-advised goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Four bills were introduced to move the governor's initiatives forward.
Count me among the skepticsto put it mildly.
Consider an article by Fresno Bee reporter Mark Grossi this week that dealt with how difficult it is for meteorologists to provide accurate forecasts for the weather.
Jan Null, a Bay Area meteorologist for 40 years, noted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA, made famous by Clive Cussler's novels), forecast last fall called for slightly above average rain and snow for much of California. The agency missed on that, but was right on predicting warm temps this winter.
Grossi's report goes on to note, "The forecasters had other hits and misses around the country. The misses are no big surprise to meteorologists. Folks inside weather prediction circles know that it's tough to look beyond seven days on a forecast. Nobody can reliably predict December, January and February on Nov. 20, as NOAA tried.
"Think of the money you could make if you could do that," says Null.
And the climate change advocates and their scientific friends want us to believe they can predict what the climate will be and how our collective actions will effect it. That is quite a stretch, particularly when geological history tell us that earth has been through ice ages that mastodons and dinosaurs once roamed the earth and the Yosemite Valley was filled with an icy glacier.
Sadly, the Democrats likely have the votes and the governor's signature to continue to jam these anti-growth, anti-economy measures through the Legislature.
They also will have lots of money to spend because the cap-and-trade sales generate plenty of revenuesdid you notice how gasoline prices have soared since the new cap-and-trade tax took effect on Jan. 1 (California's custom gasoline blend for the summer also is a major factor).
What's more troubling is that those revenues have bailed out the absurd high-speed bullet train that the governor wants as part of his legacy.
The irony is that in some areas, the governor has a well-deserved reputation as a penny-pincher.
Not so when it comes to the bullet train that is pegged at a $68 billion item before any construction has begun. Given the normal trajectory of big government capital projects, $250 billion or more is a likely number to finish it, if it does ever get completed.
Without the cap-and-trade money ($250 million this year and one-quarter of the revenues going forward) the train would have died for a lack of funding.
That would have been a blessing to taxpayers.