The accounting errors, omissions and misdeeds of the California Air Resources Board are the truest symbol of where California’s government stands today.

Our state’s government lacks leadership, truth, transparency and accountability. Everywhere we look in Sacramento these virtues are in desperately short supply  After months of battling the many transgressions of the California Air Resources Board, the deal reached between industry and CARB seems to indicate that honesty and facts can and does still have a place in government decision making – but only when the stakeholders are prepared to fight tooth and nail for it.

As CEO of an organization representing hundreds of California contractors subject to CARB regulations, we watched in wonder and awe as zeal replaced science while billions of dollars were spent, perhaps in vain. Again and again, our industry’s reward for attempting to insert a voice of reason was rewarded with the label of obstructionist and abusers of the environment and public health.

Only after significant public, political and industry pressure did CARB decide to recognize what was shown to them months ago – that the case for the noble cause of cleaner air and a sustainable planet was in fact built on bad data, flawed science and pure agenda driven politics. This should be a great cause of concern – not only for those of us directly impacted by the regulatory burdens, both for all Californians.

As we head into the November elections we can learn something important from this:  California’s vitality, strength, the health of our state’s economy, and the belief of our citizenry, should hinge on decisions made on facts, strategy and vision – not ideology, emotion, or agenda drive politics. If we cannot determine to get this right we will not doubt find ourselves, our economy and our
state’s vitality back in this mess once again.