4th of July in 2008

Rex Hime
President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association

Ramblings of a 4th of July. It was a beautiful day – sun shining, gentle breeze, clear blue skies, surrounded by family and friends, some I had known for 50 years and some for a few weeks. Lots of food and drink, kids running, swimming, yelling, chasing, and there I was trying to take it all in. Smiling, hugging, shaking hands, laughing, chatting it up –- about the kids, about the weather, about politics… Always back to politics.

Although many of us really do care about what is going on in the world our country and in our state, the sad fact is that not enough pay close attention –- and for politicians that is probably a good thing, because who knows where they would fall on the issues. Does their vote even matter anymore, anyway?

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Water Here, There, Nowhere!

Rex Hime
President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association

In case you haven’t been paying attention, California has just experienced one of the driest winters since we started keeping records – long before any of us were born. The environmental community and Al Gore have told us Global Warming is just around the corner and that means reduced snow pack in the Sierras – the largest part of our state water system storage.

Oh yes, we can’t forget that the endangered species act is doing what it is supposed to do and protecting the delta smelt resulting in a judge ruling that there has to be as much as a 35% reduction in the water pumped from the delta south to where the people are. 80% of the people are in southern California where only 20% of the rain falls and 20% of the folks are up north where 80% of the rain falls – and the only person in Sacramento paying attention to all of this is Governor Schwarzenegger.

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Green Building Craze

Rex Hime
President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association

In a craze that has swept the nation like nothing we have seen since the "Achy-Breaky Heart" line-dance, those who have joined what has become known to some as the Cult of Global Warming are impacting every area of public policy.  Unfortunately, unlike the funny yet harmless mullet atop Billy Ray’s skull, the policies being promulgated to deal with this "emergency" may negatively impact your business and our state’s economic progress for decades to come.

While some have provided a reasonable and common-sense approach, it seems that for many not reason, common sense, nor even contradictory facts have any impact on the Svengali-like grip the issue has on many of our policymakers and their confederates in the media.

California legislators are in the lead — take for instance the numerous "green building" bills that are zipping through the process known as the "zero net energy" mandates (AB 1065 [Lieber], AB 2030 [Lieu], and AB 2112 [Saldana]).  AB 1065 says that, beginning in 2020, all new buildings should use 50% less energy than they do today.  AB 2030 requires that all new commercial buildings generate 50% of their own power onsite by – you guessed it, 2030 – and AB 2112 actually requires that all new homes generate that much power by 2020.  Great ideas, if they weren’t technically impossible for most building types.

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