12.31.2010 0

New Mexico’s Gov. Martinez Could Outmuscle Schwarzenegger’s “Girly Man” Economics

  • On: 01/18/2011 08:55:16
  • In: Uncategorized
  • By Kevin Mooney

    Americans who rely on cheap, affordable energy sources for their livelihood have a new champion in the form of New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who was sworn in earlier this month. As a candidate, she campaigned aggressively against the “cap and trade” scheme that her Democratic predecessor sought to impose on the state without legislative approval.

    Gov. Bill Richardson attempted to angle “cap and trade” through the Environment Improvement Board (EIB) last year. But Martinez has dismantled the board and blocked the regulation. That’s what you call a good start.

    These actions are significant because the global warming law Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) signed into law four years ago (known as Assembly Bill 32) went to effect earlier this month at the expense of California taxpayers and consumers. Green activists and Hollywood figures joined together last to year to defeat Proposition 23, which would have suspended implementation of AB-32, until after unemployment declined.

    MapLight.org, a non-partisan group, that tracks campaign funding, found that opponents of the initiative had a three to one funding advantage and funneled almost $31 million in to sink Proposition 23.

    But Martinez’s actions could boost anti-regulatory activity now brewing in states that previously succumbed to regional green house gas initiatives. Environmentalists cobbled these agreements together in concert with compliant governors as a substitute for federal action that stalled on Capitol Hill.

    Fortunately, for American consumers these efforts are beginning to unravel. A bill has been introduced in New Jersey’s state assembly to repeal the “cap and trade” law that former Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law. This is significant because NJ is part of the oldest and most restrictive regional program aimed at reducing emissions.

    With New Mexico removing itself from the energy rationing efforts, and other states prepared to follow suit, Gov. Martinez is well positioned to outmuscle Schwarzenegger’s “girly man” command and control polices.

    Moreover, as the scientific rationale for regulations styled after the Kyoto Protocol continues to take a beating in light of new research, free market activists can expect to have greater maneuverability. For starters, they should express support for Gov. Martinez who has moved decisively to deprive California of a key trading partner.

    Meanwhile California voters who accommodated AB-32 ought to familiarize themselves with a new study compliments of Robert Michaels, a scholar with California State University, Fullerton.

    His paper explains in great detail the many ways in which CARB’s economic modeling of AB 32 is fatally flawed and how CARB threatens California’s economic welfare. Here are a few of the key findings:

    • “There are no world climate benefits from AB 32. California’s greenhouse gas emissions are only 2 percent of global emissions, and its share is falling as those from China and the developing world rapidly rise.”
    • “CARB’s results come from a computer model that is by its own admission unreal. In the model, it is mathematically impossible to have unemployment as high as prevails today, and the model does not allow climate policy to change the rate at which unprofitable businesses close or leave the state.”
    • “ To create benefits from costly command-and-control regulations, CARB assumes that Californians do not know best what works for their own lives, but that CARB’s choices are economically superior—a heroic and unsupportable assumption.”

    “AB 32 started as `feel good’ legislation that would set an example for other states and nations, few of which have actively followed it,” Michaels explains, concluding, “Since its passage, California’s unemployment has risen to 12 percent, and CARB’s claim that its policies will improve our lives becomes less credible by the day. An unelected Air Resources Board has chosen to bet the well-being of millions of Californians on computer models that cannot even give an accurate picture of today’s economy.”

    Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government.

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