Global Warming Zealots Invade California’s University System

Senator Bob Dutton
California State Senator representing the 31st Senate District

Senator Dutton married his wife, Andrea Guillen, in 1981. Andrea, a fourth generation Chino resident, is the Department Director of Radiology at Chaffey Community College. He and Andrea have a daughter, Kara, who received her Master’s in 2010 from the University of La Verne, and is now working in the banking industry.

This week yet another effect of California’s lone attempt to save the world from global warming has come to light – a growing number of California’s colleges and universities will be forced to enter the mad marketplace of carbon credits to offset the greenhouse gases produced on their campuses.

Have these California campuses full of trees and squirrels become a threat to the world’s ozone?  Apparently, the all-encompassing AB 32 zealots say they are.

According to a recent analysis by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office, six University of California campuses, one UC medical center, and two California State University campuses are already required to report their emissions. Next year, when AB 32 emission control requirements start, these campuses will be forced to cut emissions dramatically or buy carbon credits.

Because a market doesn’t yet exist for carbon credits, no one in California state government can say with certainty what the costs to our universities will be, except that it will be hundreds of millions of dollars system-wide.

Not only do incoming university students—or their parents–have tuition increases, fee increases, more years in school to complete their degrees to look forward to, now they will get the pleasure of paying one way or another for carbon offsets or costly emissions reductions.

There may be one consolation – at least the professors and students who’ve clamored for tougher climate control measures will get a real lesson in the economics of environmental edicts.

They will at least know they are “protecting the planet” in their own microcosmic way when university labs are shut down, classes are cut, dorms are hotter in warm months and colder in cold months, and when they are not allowed to drive to or park anywhere near campus. Maybe then they will wonder if the price is worth the benefit.

They will learn that all actions have consequences, and all environmental actions have costs.  Fortunately, it won’t just be small businesses and taxpayers who will find that out.

Eventually, maybe we will all learn that California cannot save the world alone. In fact, all of us – the governor, legislators, government employees, activist groups, businesses, and taxpayers – need to realize that if we continue on this course the state will follow the ever-growing number of California cities in realizing there is no way to pay all that we owe.

From The Orange County Register:

In the UC system, five campuses and one medical center emit enough greenhouse gases to qualify for the cap-and-trade program, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. For UCLA, the cost of compliance is estimated to be between $2.1 million and $8.4 million annually, according to UC system estimates. For UC San Diego, it’s between $1.6 million and $6.2 million. For UC Irvine, $718,000 to $2.9 million. …

In all, the UC system is expecting compliance costs of $6.3 million to $25 million – for the time being. Three other campuses – UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside – may eventually fall under the cap-and-trade program as well as their emissions rise, according to the UC system.

In the CSU system, two campuses are expected to be affected: San Diego and San Jose, according to the California Air Resources Board, also known as CARB. Using the same the methodology employed by the UC system, the Orange County Register calculated the estimated compliance costs for the two campuses, assuming $10 to $40 per credit. For San Diego State University, it was $502,000 to $2 million. For San Jose State University, it was $297,000 to $1.2 million. …

Two private universities, Loma Linda University and the California Institute of Technology, also emit enough greenhouse gases to fall under cap and trade regulations, according to the California Air Resources Board. …

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