New Law Exempts Cap and Trade from Open Meetings

On the afternoon the state budget was signed into law last Wednesday I received an email from a local activist informing me that hidden in a trailer bill titled SB 1018 was a provision exempting the upcoming cap and trade auction from open meeting rules.

CARB formed a company called Western Climate Initiative Inc. (WCI), to manage its upcoming cap and trade auction.  This shadowy corporation, registered in Delaware, will be responsible for imposing billions in hidden energy taxes on California ratepayers and small businesses without public scrutiny or accountability.

SB 1018 was a “gut and amend” bill, with over 100 pages inserted the day before the bill was signed into law along with the state budget.  This legislation did not go through one committee hearing and most legislators probably never had a chance to read it.  But buried in this bill in Section 12894(b)(2) is a line exempting WCI from a critical provision of the California Constitution, known as the Bagley-Keene Act, which provides meetings be open to public scrutiny.

Small business owners and citizen energy consumers care about protecting the environment, but CARB continually behaves as if it has something to hide.

The organization I lead, called the Coalition of Energy Users, or CEU, has over 5,000 supporters, 40% of whom are small business owners and almost all of whom are California energy consumers.  However, when a bill is jammed through in the way SB 1018 was, consumer and small business advocates get shut out of the process because nobody can analyze and respond to the proposal before it is too late.  Unfortunately, that’s exactly the point.

Good government proponents first expressed concern about transparency when CARB registered WCI in Delaware, a state not subject to California’s open meeting laws.  Shielded from accountability laws, the cap and trade auction will be managed by international financial firms [like Deutsche Bank and Markit North America – which doesn’t even have an office in California] and will be open to Wall Street traders and speculators who will profit while we all pay the bill.  The auction will be vulnerable to market manipulation like the kind that led to the recent energy and mortgage crises.

CARB Chairman Mary Nichols likes to tout her agency as a national and even global trendsetter.  However, just a few weeks ago she abruptly shut down public comments when regular citizens and small business owners showed up to express opposing points of view.  She has also refused to respond to inquiries by the Congressional Government Oversight Committee.

Californians are tired of seeing quality blue collar jobs flee our state and already pay some of the nation’s highest gas and electricity costs.  While we all want to do our part for the environment, the cap and trade auction just imposes billions of dollars in new costs without guaranteeing either cost effectiveness or environmental benefit.

Citizen energy consumers and small business owners deserve to have a voice, especially in a process seeking to impose billions in new energy taxes on us all.

(Eric Eisenhammer is the Founder of the Coalition of Energy Users and Board Member of Friends for Saving California Jobs. Originally posted on Fox & Hounds.)

Comments

  1. Why don’t out lawmakers pass a law to make it illeagle to add to any bill less than 7 days from voting to make sure all have time to read and understand them.

    • John Wirts says

      They don’t want to understand they just want to give the appearance of working and trying to get total control of a drone(slave) population. This will give them money to do as they wish, until the rich , businesses, and any job producing organizations are taxed and regulated out of this state. We will then have the second Sahara Desert, what is now known as the state of California.

  2. Re: Star door sessions

    If its the public’s money, all discussions of it MUST BE PUBLIC !
    CARB chairman Mary Nichols is wanting to hide something. Her actions speak louder than words. This type of situation is endemic in Marxist/Communist countries.

    Mary Nichols and her tribe are breaking the law (which has been in place for some 50 yrs.)

    Trying to circumvent open meetings w a secret clause is common now among the one party system (Dem), a Communist technique. ‘We have to pass it before we know whats in it……’

    Chairman MAO….er..Mary MUST be removed. She is a large detriment to this state which is financially, spiritually bankrupt.

    S/ A retired newsperson

  3. Hey CA. Keep voting for them Dems and you will find it a state with no jobs, No money, and tons of regs…but don’t worry you’ll have mary jane to smoke and don’t worry when it all gose bust. We will just tax the rich..who are moving out at record numbers. Yep nothing to see here.

  4. How much longer will the closed minded Democrat/Liberal/Progressives keep being voted in/appointed to/union backed shills to positions of leadership by the STUPID California voters???? Their position seems to be “It’s all about ME”. Disgusting to say the least.

  5. TheSaint says

    Not surprising! Mostly everything the Demos or Rep implement or promote is hidden from public view and discussion until it is too late to change. If the public protests, then the politicians get judges to rule in their favor. The political and legal system is decadent. The system in CA, and even in some other states like Illinois support the elite, politicians and a few groups, including illegal aliens and public employee unions, while CA taxpayer gets the shaft.

  6. retired and glad of it says

    To whomever may be reading this: did you vote?
    Did you expect that efforts to improve our air and water quality would morph into a bureaucratic mailed fist and iron boot, crushing California into the dust, maiming the economy of the USA?
    All who can afford it are planning their leavetaking of the Golden State. Unfortunately, all who can afford to leave, they are all who can afford to operate a business, invest in a business, pay taxes.
    The Golden State is only golden for the lobbyists and companies in the Big Renewables sector, who can suck taxpayer subsidies and loan guarantees from the Federal sow.
    Did you vote? Just how did you vote? How is it working out for you?

  7. This state has been taken over folks,can’t you smell it?

  8. Harry Elston says

    Yes, I smell it and it smells brown. Pun intended.

  9. Cosmic Ray says

    Is anybody aware that there are mentions of REDD on ARB’s website?

    REDD is a scheme where we will pay foreign countries huge sums of money to store our carbon. What it really is is a scheme to redistribute wealth from rich countries to poor countries.

  10. What do you expect, these are typical corrupt Democrats.

    California is in the tubes because of decades of control by the Democrat Party and the majority of Californians continue to vote in the same party that has caused this mess. WILL THEY EVER WAKE UP? OR ARE WE DOOMED TO IDIOTS?
    What is the definition of stupidity? To continue to vote for the same people who caused the problem and expect to get different results.

Trackbacks

  1. […] friend Eric Eisenhammer first alerted me to the issue on his California Political Review blog. He writes: On the afternoon the state budget was signed into law last Wednesday I received an […]

  2. […] CARB cannot exempt itself from the Bagley-Keene Act of 1967, which states “the meetings of public bodies…shall be open to public scrutiny.” Transparency […]

  3. […] CARB cannot exempt itself from the Bagley-Keene Act of 1967, which states “the meetings of public bodies…shall be open to public scrutiny.” Transparency […]

  4. […] not any public body, including CARB, cannot exempt itself from the Bagley-Keene Act of 1967, which states “the meetings of public bodies…shall be open to public scrutiny.” Transparency […]

  5. […] not any public body, including CARB, cannot exempt itself from the Bagley-Keene Act of 1967, which states “the meetings of public bodies…shall be open to public scrutiny.” Transparency […]

  6. […] CARB cannot exempt itself from the Bagley-Keene Act of 1967, which states “the meetings of public bodies…shall be open to public scrutiny.” Transparency […]

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