CARB Set To Boost CA Gas Prices

Dave Roberts
Contributing editor to CalWatchDog and long-time Bay Area newspaper reporter

Cross-posted at Cal-Watchdog.

Buoyed by the repudiation of Prop. 23, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is moving forward with cap-and-trade regulations designed to reduce the carbon level in fuel, but which will also drive up gas prices, further damaging California’s weak economy.

Beginning in January the $183 billion fuel industry in California will need to begin adhering to CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which has a goal of reducing the carbon level in transportation fuel by 10 percent by 2020. Fuel producers can do so by blending in bio-fuels such as ethanol or by purchasing emission credits, perhaps from electric or natural gas utilities, to offset their high-carbon fuel supply.

Several studies on the impact of a nation-wide LCFS, as proposed in the cap-and-trade legislation passed by the House (but stalled in the Senate), predict that just about everyone will suffer as a result.

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Officials Hid Size Of Pension Crisis

Dave Roberts
Contributing editor to CalWatchDog and long-time Bay Area newspaper reporter

Due to "Alice in Wonderland" accounting methods, the amount that
taxpayers owe to provide pensions for local and state government
employees is much larger – perhaps an extra $2.5 trillion – than
government officials have let on, according to an economic advisor to
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking at a Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) hearing in San Francisco on Tuesday.

"State and local governments utilize a misleading method for
reporting the size of public pension obligations," said David Crane.
For example, an annual obligation of $30,000 for 25 years for a
government employee’s pension is projected to cost the government
$320,000, while the same $30,000/year, 25-year obligation in the form
of a bond is projected to be $425,000. "Two identical and unconditional
obligations owed by the same government are valued at different
amounts. The answer lies in the Alice in Wonderland world of government
pension accounting that allows governments to hide liabilities."

Government officials justify the lower obligation for the pension
based on the earnings they hope to receive by investing the money.

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