Pushed to the edge

Earlier this year, the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing conducted an informational hearing entitled, "Reducing Congestion and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Parking Policy." According to their own background paper, the committee declares that “free parking encourages vehicle trips, thereby increasing traffic congestion, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions” [italics mine].  In short, the idea centers around reducing free parking so that people will drive less. They would also charge more for parking spaces as they fill up, so the last available parking space will cost a fortune.


This logic is absurd.


In March, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) outlined a plan to regulate the color of cars you can drive. According to CARB, more reflective vehicles could stay up to 10 °C cooler, which in turn could reduce the need for air conditioning and thereby cut greenhouse gas emissions.


CARB has also adopted a new "Cool Cars" regulation ordering advanced glazing of windows to block the sun's heat.  The regulations take effect in 2012, and advocates say the requirement will reduce the temperature inside vehicles, saving gasoline and cutting greenhouse gases.


Shall I continue?


Complimenting CARB’s attempt to crack down on the state’s contribution to climate change, the California Energy Commission (CEC) last year proposed a significant rule change which would have mandated installation of programmable communicating thermostats (you guessed it, in an effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions).  Thankfully, due to public outcry, the proposal was discarded, but now the CEC is looking at energy efficiency standards that would effectively ban the sale of certain televisions, again in order to “conserve the energy and protect the environment by avoiding the need to build additional power plants.”


Contrary to the state legislature, California’s overfed system of government is not directly accountable to the people of the state; their broad authority is becoming more and more illustrious in their efforts to further environmental ideologies.


The CEC’s efforts to regulate energy-hungry TV sets in California won’t stop consumers from buying the model they want from their favorite online retailer or on a shopping trip to Las Vegas. California will consequently lose jobs tied to TV sales, distribution and installation and see a decline in tax revenue associated with the sale of these big-ticket items.


California has been pushed to the economic edge as a result of the state’s current regulatory climate. We are the classic example of nanny state government, and it continues to impede our economic recovery.  For this reason, I plan to introduce legislation in January to ensure that the efforts of the California Energy Commission to limit energy consumption aren’t to the detriment of the state’s hard-working families and consumers.



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