The California Air Resources Board is rapidly moving forward to develop its implementation plan for AB 32, but I’m afraid they’re not choosing the most cost-effective path. As a voice of the small business community, I am greatly concerned that CARB’s plan is going to pile more and more costs on small business.

With this tough economy, a financial industry crisis and a growing state fiscal problem, we need to make sure that the climate change program does not make the situation worse. There are too many layers of costs that we’re already struggling to meet, we can hardly afford to empty our wallets on the new efficiency measures and upfront investments that CARB is calling for us to make.

Small businesses drive our state’s economy, so we want CARB to recognize the importance of finding an implementation plan that helps us survive. Thus far, we have not had a seat at the table and our concerns go unanswered. If small businesses get suffocated along the way, our state in 2020 will have a low carbon footprint by driving business out of the state.

It’s not too late to change this, but time is running out. In November, CARB will finalize its plan to implement AB 32. It’s hard enough to operate a business in California, and with so many uncertainties and dark clouds over the state and nation, this program has to be done right. Small businesses and our economy must be protected during this pursuit for environmental transformation.