Proposition 65 and Your Daily Brush With Death?

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

I was once an Industrial Relations and Safety Manager.  My job included  handling all the regulations pertaining to hazardous chemicals used at our facility.  In California, every business is required to have on hand a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each and every product with any ingredient listed as hazardous under Prop. 65. Proposition […]

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CEQA Must be Amended

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

We need to support Governor Brown in his efforts to reform CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act.  CEQA requires that all projects be analyzed to determine if the potential exists for the project to have a significant impact upon the environment.  The devil is in the details!  Just what constitutes a significant impact and what […]

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Shutting Down Our Supplies of Energy

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

The energy we use as a society is an interrelated function of technology, availability and price. In essence, we use the most affordable, most abundant and least technologically challenging forms of energy, primarily oil, gas, coal, nuclear and hydroelectric.

However, environmental groups empowered by government mandates and regulatory obfuscation, driven in part by junk science and fear-mongering, have pushed us toward new experimental and alternative forms of energy.

This, despite the fact these alternatives are not altogether cost effective, technologically feasible, or even readily available.

The more technologically difficult energy is to develop, convert and transport or transmit, the higher the price. In an economy based upon free-market competition, it becomes virtually impossible to get consumers to buy much of anything if it costs several times more than something else that works just as well for them.

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An economy strangled by regulation

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

I have spent the last 20 years monitoring county government on the Central Coast. I have watched, first-hand, the destruction of our local and state economy, and indicate without reservation that the primary cause is malfeasance by elected officials and the special interests that put them and keep them in power.

During my career, the Board of Supervisors in each of the three counties was alternatively governed by board majorities deemed conservative and progressive.

The conservatives, when they comprised the board majorities, did no harm for the most part, but neither did they accomplish much good. When in the minority, their record could best be summed up as going along to get along.

The progressive majorities did much damage to our economy and also served to set us up for near bankruptcy as they gave away the store to government unions, while they crippled the private-sector economy as they carried out the legislative whims of extreme environmental activists.

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Scandal Surrounding the California Air Resources Board

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

Many
politicians and pundits pin the economic travails of the State of
California upon our tax rates.  However, my experience leads me to
believe that the number one cause for the economic malaise of our once
great State emanates from our regulatory climate.  Here is but one
example.

It is most unfortunate that few Californians are aware of the
scandal surrounding the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  CARB
has been in the process of establishing a Diesel Engine Rule that will
require all engines in the State of CA to be replaced twice in the next
ten years.

The fiscal impact of this rule can easily cost the
California economy in excess of $40 billion.  It will impact trucking,
construction, and farming, as these industries rely heavily upon diesel
engines.  Is the expense for this rule justified?

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SOAR laws are a two-edged sword

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

Cross-posted at the Ventura County Star

Years ago, voters throughout Ventura County approved the SOAR (Save
Open-space and Agricultural Resources) initiative. The ostensible
purpose of the initiative was to stave off the conversion of
agriculture-zoned properties to other uses unless the electorate
approved the conversion.

So, farmers and ranchers face a daunting challenge if they want to
convert their farmland to urban uses, but did they get anything in
return? That is to say, while SOAR protected farm fields from being
converted, did it also offer any protections to the farmers that would
enable them to stay in farming?

The apparent answer to this question is yes, as farmers and ranchers discovered at a recent

Board of Supervisors meeting.

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Perceiving the Truth from Propaganda

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

I have been afforded the opportunity to interview academics and scholars from throughout the world. I have to say I am quite frightened by what I have learned. I am even more concerned about what the average citizen does not know about what is happening in our world today.

For instance, due to a virtual media blackout, unless you peruse certain internet sites or watch Fox News, you have not heard about what is perhaps the greatest scientific scandal of our time involving some leading scientists and academics on the subject of global warming. The scandal has been dubbed “Climategate”. It involves the most important and central scientists in the world who have led the effort which would serve to scare us into believing that the core manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors of the world are destroying the planet and something must be done immediately or else.

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State Associations should rethink taking a ‘Seat at the Table’

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

We are all familiar with the scene played out in various movies where the evil madman at the head of the table pushes a button which triggers a trap door beneath the chair occupied by a person who dared question the authority or wisdom of the madman.

I couldn’t help but think of this familiar scene as I watched and spoke at last week’s protest rally against excessive regulations in Sacramento. The event was sponsored by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California TEA Party, with participation from the California Dump Truck Owners Association, the Pacific Legal Foundation and several other organizations from throughout the State, most notably, those representing the farmers in the Central Valley whose water has been cut off, ostensibly for the sake of the delta smelt. Keynote speakers included Congressmen Tom McClintock and Devin Nunes, along with, State Senator George Runner, and Mark Meckler, a National and State Coordinator of the TEA Party Patriots. Some 10,000 people were in attendance.

Throughout the day I couldn’t help but think of the organizations that did not sponsor or, in the least, make their presence and support known in any conspicuous manner, which brings me back to the all too familiar movie scene.

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Why You Should Forget the Tie and Bring a Protest Sign!

Andy Caldwell
COLAB Executive Director, guest editorialist, and radio talk show host

"A Finely Tuned Job Killing Machine."

"California is not suffering from a recession as much as it is suffering from self-inflicted blows to our own economy by our own State government."

Both of these quotes pose a true and accurate depiction of our current State of affairs. The observations, however, derive from a 1992 report of the Ueberroth Commission on California Competitiveness. Things are of course even worse today!

We suffer this day as a result of energy and water shortages, the dilapidation of public infrastructure, astronomical public debt, high taxes, and a punitive regulatory climate. These seventeen years later, I can only echo Ueberroth as he singled out our State Government as primarily responsible for our sorry state of affairs. Just how did we go from having one of the best economies in the world to the brink of bankruptcy?

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