With California’s unemployment rate rivaling Depression-era levels, Senate and Assembly Republicans today sent a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urging him to delay the implementation of the state’s sweeping global warming law, Assembly Bill 32 (2006), due to the significant job loss anticipated with this policy.
The letter, signed by 13 Senators and 26 Assembly members, states, "As Republicans, we stand united with your goal to get more Californians back to work. Very little matters more than a family being able to provide for their basic needs with a stable job. As such, it is troubling to see your Administration moving forward with experimental and unproven legislation to curb global warming at the expense of hardworking Californians who will their lose jobs, see increased prices at the pump, and watch their home energy bills skyrocket."
Recently, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst (LAO) studied the net impact AB 32 would have on jobs in California. Among the key findings from the LAO:
- More jobs will be likely lost in the near term.
- Overall job impact in the long term is unknown.
- Certain individual businesses and households would be seriously affected.
- Near-term prices of electricity, gas and other energy sources would rise.
"With eight California counties facing unemployment rates higher than 20 percent, we shouldn’t gamble with our fragile economy by pursuing questionable global warming policies," said Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto). "There’s no guarantee these stringent regulations will work – but there is a guarantee we will lose jobs at a time when the state, and California families, can least afford it."
"This is not the time for California to go it alone and lose a million jobs and drive our unemployment rate through the ceiling. I agree with Senator Dianne Feinstein that global warming mitigation needs to be placed on hold – protecting jobs must be our top priority," stated Assemblyman Dan Logue (R-Linda).
"Ample evidence shows that the AB 32 global warming tax is going to kill jobs and drive up food and energy prices for all Californians. Given the current state of the economy, it should be a no-brainer for Governor Schwarzenegger to put the brakes on this flawed government experiment," commented Senate Republican Leader-elect Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga).
"An independent study commissioned by the California Air Resources Board shows global warming regulations will cost the average household between $600 and $1,400 more a year," Senator Dutton continued. "It’s time for the Air Board to admit that the AB 32 global warming tax is bad news for California."
"Hard-working Californians do not deserve the ill-conceived rules, regulations and taxes that have pushed their jobs out of the state. AB 32 is a classic example of legislation touted as a great idea and a step forward, but in reality does not live up to its promise and will ultimately cost California jobs. Unfortunately, AB 32 is not the exception but the rule and is the reason behind my bill to require the legislature to do an economic impact report before passing legislation impacting jobs. Look how long it has taken for the economic impact of AB 32 to come to light? How many Californians have lost or will lose their jobs as a result of this legislation? The legislature has to stop passing lofty policy ideas at the expense of real jobs," commented Senator Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach).
"Instead of finding ways to punish hard-working families and businesses with higher fuel costs, higher gas taxes and longer unemployment lines, the Legislature should be focusing on discarding rules and regulations like AB 32 that stifle job creation and motivate businesses to locate in other states," stated Senator Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar).
The AB 32 Implementation Group and the California Manufacturers & Technology Association analyzed a draft greenhouse gas cap-and-trade proposal by the California Air Resources Board. According to the draft proposal, at $60 per ton of carbon, the average cost per gallon of gas would go up by 53 cents and each year families would see their natural gas costs go up by $1,243 and electric bills would go up by $200.
Go here for the full text of the letter sent to the Governor today.