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Judge places California's global warming program on hold

Valero's Wilmington refinery, near the Port of Long Beach.

A San Francisco superior court judge has put California's sweeping plan to curb greenhouse gas pollution on hold, saying the state did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its cap-and-trade program.

In a 35-page decision, Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith said the Air Resources Board had failed to consider public comments on the proposed measures before adopting the plan, which affects a broad swath of the state's economy. In particular, the judge noted, officials gave short shrift to analyzing a carbon fee, or carbon tax, devoting a “scant two paragraphs to this important alternative” to a market-based trading system in their December 2008 plan.

The air board said it would appeal the judge's decision, which was filed late Friday and released Monday.

The potential setback in California, the first state to enact a broad global warming law, comes amid heightened nationwide controversy over how to curb the gases that trap heat in Earth's atmosphere, and change climates. A cap-nd-trade bill passed the U.S. House in 2009, but failed in the Senate after intense opposition from the coal and oil industries. With the election of more business-oriented politicians last November, the measure is considered dead in the short term.

In the November election, however, Californians voted down a oil-refinery-sponsored ballot initiative to delay the state's global warming law, which is touted as a spur to California’s fast-growing renewable energy industry. The 2006 law requires the state to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

The California lawsuit was filed by six environmental groups that represent low-income communities, including the Association of Irritated Residents, based in the San Joaquin Valley, and Communities for A Better Environment, which fights pollution around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The groups contend that a cap-and-trade program would allow refineries, power plants and other big facilities in poor neighborhoods to avoid cutting emissions of both greenhouse gases and traditional air pollutants.

“This decision is good for low-income communities like Wilmington, Carson and Richmond,” said Bill Gallegos, executive director of Communities for a Better Environment. “It means that oil refineries, which emit enormous amounts of greenhouse gases and contribute to big health problems, cannot simply keep polluting by purchasing pollution credits, or doing out of state projects.”

California's cap-and-trade program was strongly backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger over the objections of groups that prefer direct regulations, or a carbon tax, on industrial polluters. Under the market-based system, companies can meet their obligations by purchasing credits from other companies, or from projects such as forest preservation that cut pollution more cheaply.

“Claims of environmental harm from a program of tradable allowances for greenhouse gases are unfounded,” the Air Resources Board said in a statement on the judge’s decision.

The board’s attorneys will meet with plaintiffs about complying with the order without halting all aspects of its global warming plan. Besides the cap-and-trade program, which covers 600 industrial plants, the plan includes rules to curb the carbon intensity of gasoline production and distribution, slash motor-vehicle emissions and control potent greenhouse gases such as refrigerants.

“We believe plaintiffs did not intend to put on hold efforts to improve energy efficiency, establish clean car standards and develop low carbon fuel regulations,” the board said. Such a “broadly written” order, “puts at risk a range of efforts to move California to a clean energy economy,” it added.

Legislation has been introduced in Congress backing carbon fees over cap-and-trade systems, and a carbon tax is enjoying widespread support in British Columbia, where it is offset by cuts to other taxes. But the administration of California Gov. Jerry Brown has given no indication of whether it would be open to similar alternatives.

Politically influential green groups, such as the Environmental Defense Fund, the Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Defense Council have backed a cap-and-trade approach, and did not join the lawsuit by environmental justice groups.


California Air chief blasts auto trade group over greenhouse gas rules

Will California companies offset their carbon emissions with Mexican forests?

Oil Refineries launched a ballot initiative against California's global warming law

--Margot Roosevelt

PHOTO: Valero's Wilmington refinery, near the Port of Long Beach. The company was the main funder of Proposition 23, a ballot initiative to suspend California's global-warming law. And it would be among 600 industrial facilities covered by the state's cap-and-trade program. Christina House /Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (219)

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Interesting affable, that you debate by calling names and say we are merely "parroting". No we are thoughful, intelligent people who can reason our way through an issue. Can you provide some proof of this global warming propaganda spewen by Gore? Why would you think that if we agree with what Limbaugh, Beck et al say we aren't thinking for ourselves? Silly lib.....

Wow, we've got the paid climate change deniers on here, the parrots that Limbaugh, Beck, et al teach to speak and the just plain willfully ignorant. If this is a new edition of "World's Dumbest" then I want some Gary Busey commentary...

If not global warning wait lets not get some people upset lets call it climate change with all stuff that's been in the last ten years which hasn't been to serious right, I mean here in the United States and specifically the west coast and the S. East coast with all this rain and snowy mountain ranges and than heat out no where. CO2 leaves from volcano are suppose to happen in nature and not in industry. Hmmm If it doesn't seem to be effecting the earth than what does it actually effect. . . Am give u guys a second or minutes or hours to think about it. . .HELLO US HUMAN BEINGS (don't forget animals). . .CO2 equals a dioxin a known carcinogen found in almost everything(since the dawn of cars & 1950's Americans been producing petroleum buy products) . . . all child development problems in are kids ( you've been seeing on the news) and cancers show up in more and more infants to older people. I mean it had to have been the right conditions(heat and water and matter) that took make us organisms to be living on this earth for these great amount of years if any one believes in evolution. Yet were killing are chances because CO2 and other man made chemicals were being that funded(Govt.) to make these chemicals so can drive your CO2 to store to pick up carcinogen and then pick your CO2 covered kids from practice so you can go home to your charming polluted house/apt. and eat the prized plate of carcinogens. . .oh no your cat is seizing again from that chemical more like carcinogen you used to clean your bathroom earlier today. . .

Go watch a documentaries "The Idiot cycle "(RT), Corporations, Walmart: high cost low prices, Food Inc.

"Air Resources Board had failed to consider public comments on the proposed measures before adopting the plan, which affects a broad swath of the state's economy. "

And when do the powers that be, pay any attention to the public's thoughts? We just had a major election for "hope and change" in reality and the Congress and Administration is continuing our slide into chaos by spending trillions that we just don't have. Excuse me, the rich and super rich have those trillions, let's get it from them. Michael Moore should lead the pitchfork and tar and feather brigade.

CA survived the last year with stimulus taxpayer (and borrowed) monies, which has now run out (as with most states who got stimulus monies) and now they want more taxes from the "greedy corporations." That money will be used by the even more greedy politicians to buy votes. Cap and trade is a wealth transfer vehicle slyly hidden under the guise of Global Warming. Spending and politicians are like booze and alcoholics, can't get enough.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Now the communist driven Air Board will use more tax payer money to appeal the wise decision of the Judge. It is now wonder California is bankrupt with hundreds of costly government agencies trying to control every aspect of our lives. Get rid of at least 90 percent of these agencies and commission which are just places for politicians and their buddies to hide and draw huge salaries.

To all off Carbon Sucker that post on this page put your lips on your SuV tailpipe suck in Oh have on off your buddies rev the engine. Write to tell all of us how it came out.Don't worry what comes out of the tailpipe won't hurt you .Man has been putting CO2 in to our air for 200 years but it magicaly disapears!!!

Quote--"...a carbon tax is enjoying widespread support in British Columbia...."
Now, where did that come from? The carbon tax in British Columbia was rammed through by a premier and his government from which that same premier just recently resigned due to another major screw up.
I have lived in B.C. for about sixty five years, and my analysis of the carbon tax feeling is that it is either just tolerated or otherwise detested by all, excepting the green terrorist part of the population which of course loves it.
As time is proving that climate change is, if it exists at all, a natural process, more and more citizens are viewing both cap and trade and carbon taxes as just more citizen ripoffs designed by corporations and governments to enrich those corporations and government and the already rich, while the rest of us peons suffer the consequential losses financial and of liberty.

Finally some common sense from a judge and comments from the folks of Ca. Of 100,000 particles in the air, 35 are CO2 and .03 of the 35 is human caused. So the US wants to spend 200 billion a year to lower the temperature 1 degree over 50 years. With 200 billion, in one year, all the water in the world could be treated to prevent cholera. But that would be common sense; it's not about saving humans, it is about saving the earth. TS humans.

It's understandable that some people want to deny global warming when their comfortable and civilised lives are dependent upon 'business as usual', but we can't ignore the fact that there is a moral dimension here as well as one of self-interest. The people who are suffering the most from global warming are often the ones who have done least to contribute to it. Politicians ought to recognise this and act accordingly rather than taking money from fossil fuel corporations to work against the public interest.

The CARB is the biggest inhibitor to economic growth and vitality in the country. Their decisions are based on political and not scientific information. When warned years before they did it, they went ahead and put MTBE in the gas and polluted the ground water. The recent diesel rules were based on work done by a man who faked his PhD, that got it from an internet site. On and on their disaster continues. We should defund, take them away and put them out to never destroy us again. Thanks Judge for starting the process.

Idiots. The energy business provides good jobs and huge tax revenues " for low-income communities like Wilmington, Carson and Richmond". Enviro-socialism is a disease that is killing California.

Carbon Dioxide is a trace gas in the earth's atmosphere comprising .038% of all atmospheric gasses -- that's 38 THOUSANDTHS OF ONE PERCENT. Of the minute increases in CO2, anthropogenic causes are only about 1/3 -- millionths of a percent per annum. California's scheme amounts to preventing the equivalent of a drop from a dropper in an Olympic sized swimming pool.

There is no global warming. At the very least, credible publications should be referring to this nonsense as "alleged" global warming each time it is mentioned. Despite Al Gore's claims, this is not "settled science," whatever that means, nor have we "already had the debate." In fact, there was never ANY debate, instead we were just all subjected to the whole man-made global warming claim being presented as fact by liberal media like the L.A. Times.

As for California, they are broke, businesses and residents are leaving in droves due to their excessive taxes, and instead of taking care of problems like illegal immigrants draining their system, they attack the few productive companies that still attempt do do business and provide jobs, products and services in their ridiculous state.

Awesome! Finally, a black-robed tyrant rules the correct way.

Besides the dopers, hardened criminals, and illegal Mexicans, there are people in California who are absolutely crazy. There is no man-made global warming and the people of California will pay dearly for accepting this madness. The entire state will enter the middle ages with this global warming insanity.

Here's a little quizz.

What percentage of the atmosphere consists of CO2 ?

Of that miniscule percentage, how much does human activity contribute?

As a greenhouse gas, how many times more potent is water vapor than CO2?

How much does human activity contribute to water vapor?

Caution: Answering these questions may lead to scepticism.

"Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is real and is a proven fact."

This is false. While the climate may be warming (and even that is subject to debate), no one has conclusively proven that it's directly related to human activity. Even if human activity proves to be a component, no one really knows how much -- the issue is very much open to debate.

Global warming is not a black or white issue. It is simplistic and, indeed, it strikes of incredible hubris to believe humans can control the climate of the planet to any substantial degree. I know we want to feel like we can make a difference, but it's foolish to overlook the possibility that we could put a stranglehold on our economy and our style of living in the pursuit of something that cannot be achieved.

It's a grievous mistake to base serious political and economic policies on unproven theories, especially when our global competitors, who are already kicking our *** in so many ways, will do nothing of the sort. Cap and trade will only serve to further reduce our competitiveness while lining the pockets of those aligned to benefit, but there's very little chance it will help the average citizen.

The air resources board in California is a joke. It is political cronyism at its best. They legislate to line to pockets of their friends, as witnessed by the last election, and couldn't care less about the truth and our environment. Much like snake oil salesmen of the past, the shoot from the hip without any scientific support and when proven wrong, claim the failed/fraudulent "science" on which they relied was of no relevance. Pure and utter garbage, as is the rest of California Democrat politics.

Businesses are already leaving California in droves due to the high taxes and onerous regulations. The cap and trade taxes will just be the ticket to induce even more businesses to leave California for greener pastures. Pretty soon the parasites in the government promoting tax and trade and their co-conspirators (the elitist envirnomentaists) will have successfully killed their host, businesses and the middle class, and California will become a third world nation. So much, for caring about the little people, when the left's true agenda is to live in their ivory towers while serfs live in substandard conditions. However, maybe that is what the left wing environmentalists really want with their anti-technology agenda that is cap and trade. After all, with all the jobs gone, the poor won't have enough money to use air-conditioning, eat very much, or drive gas engine cars which sounds a lot like the Middle Ages where the left can live in their walled off castles and the rest of us poor schmucks in stone huts with nothing to eat. Oh I forgot, the Middle Ages had higher temperatures than we have today. It was called the Medieval Warming Period when Greenland was green and pretty warm compared to today. That is why the leftist environmentalists are really a bunch of anti-human, elitist pigs who want to force their idea of utopia (which is really hell) on the rest of us while they live in luxury immune from all the misery they are forcing others to live under for no good reason.

This stupidity is typical of the Air Resources Board.

In the early 1990s, they required gas companies to put MTBE in gasoline, to "clean up the air." The problem was they implemented that too fast, without sufficient study of the consequences -- like the fact the MTBE could NOT be removed from the groundwater after the underground gas tanks started leaking. And they ignored people who were trying to warn them. The result was polluted groundwater, hundreds of closed wells, and the banning of MTBE last year.

All this "Climate Change" rubbish is simply the Legislation of Urban Legends.

Now we new legislation to keep people from microwaving poodles, keep our teenagers safe from hook-armed escaped mental patients, and a special tax for 57 Corvette's that sell for only $50 because the husband left the wife for the secretary and told her to sell his car & send him half.

So we have a San Francisco judge saying that the Global Warming Final Solution bill goes TOO easy on corporations because it doesn't allow for direct taxation based on falsified global warming data? Oh, the political tension must be so thick! The Air Resources Board and this judge might as well be golf buddies.

California is truly a land devoid of common sense, and we're all the worse for it.

P.S. Californians didn't "vote down a oil-refinery-sponsored ballot initiative to delay the state's global warming law"; they were lied to and misled enormously--as per usual when anything gets in the way of the Green Police's agenda.

Wana cut down on Green House Gasses?
Stop Overpopulation!
Stop rewarding Overpopulation with taxpayer dollars
They can start with the baby machine that lives down the block!
12 kids, fat mama, all tax takers!

To all Prius owners!!! You all have a personal connection to the nuclear disaster in Japan. When you look in your garage and smile, remember that the electricity that helped build your car, was produced by the nuclear reactors that are now spewing radiation into the environment. Shine that baby up and drive with pride.

Re-quoted for another LOL@GW

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes - FOUR DAYS ONLY by Mt. Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time - EVERY DAY.

This could come as a shock to some, but do I detect just a little bias in the LA Times report above?

Note the image chosen to represent the report on delay of the Air Resources Board plan. No doubt it's a great photo, but could anything look more ominous than an evil, black power plant belching smoke above flaming lights. Look what this awful judge is abetting!

Really guys: at least try to hide your bias.

Dear California idiots,

This program is a waste of time and money. Manmade global warming is a lie!

Rather than waste your time with this nonsense, why don't you figure out how to balance your budget and stop the exodus of jobs and talent from your state?

I love how the global warming accolytes try to claim everybody who states they don't belive GW is manmade try to claim we're all in the pockets of coal/oil industries, but then conveniently leave out the fact that the scientists who try to claim it exists (although they admittedly can't get their theories to work) have HIGHLY VESTED interests-- as in, if GW is proven NOT to be man made those charlatans will out of a job. Coal and oil my a**. Its the scientists who are on the government dole, who are "studying" GW that are the ones who lack any objectivity.

When so many stupid people line up against something then it must be correct.

This isn't a setback for California, it's a step toward salvation!!!

If global warming is true, why stop there?? Stop global earthquakes and tsunamis!! I'm sure man is causing the earthquakes too, because we're all too fat and it's shifting the land plates! :) The point is we don't have that kind of power, only God has that power.

Hey Berribrand....What about proposition 8?

I make a living developing solar technology. However, for people to believe in AGW is truly sad statement as to how adept we aren't at critical thinking. Here is a primer for you.
or try here for all sorts of good knowedge;

"after intense opposition from the coal and oil industries"

They wrote the bill in the House.

They don't fine companies for 'pollution,' they fine them for existing. They fine them to make money. When you hear about fines as the punishment, you know how flimsy these alleged environmentalists are. Nowhere is anyone talking about prosecuting 'polluters.' They could care less. They simply distribute wealth with the 'carbon' canard.

So why aren't conservatives calling this ruling by the judge "judicial activism?" Here we have a judge, who is basically denying the will of the voters. It was just a few months ago the voters of California voted to maintain the Global Warming Solutions Act by a HUGE margin, rejecting the oil-industry backed initiative.

But all we hear from conservatives is: "...." and "great ruling judge!"

Hypocrites much?

I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano Mt Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth. Yes folks, Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year – think about it.

Of course I shouldn't spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.

And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.

Just remember that your government just tried to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus human-caused climate change scenario.

Hey, isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention Global Warming any more, but just “Climate Change” - you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming bull artists got caught with their pants down.

And just keep in mind that you might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme – that whopping new tax imposed on you that will achieve absolutely nothing except make you poorer. It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.

But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!

PS: I wonder if Iceland is buying carbon offsets?

While I'm delighted that California's economic suicide pact has been temporarily derailed, I'm unhappy that a judge has seen fit to dictate policy. This kind of thing should be decided by the electorate and by legislature, not by judges.

Global warming is a project by the ruling class to accrue power and money. Any state idiotic enough to vote for stuff like this - or to allow the depredations of the California Air Resources Board - should get the government it votes for, good and hard.

Okay, here's the bombshell. The volcanic eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash, has in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet all of you.

Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans, and all animal life.

I know, it's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving Toyota Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cents light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs...well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days - yes - FOUR DAYS ONLY by Mt. Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon. And there are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this crud any one time - EVERY DAY.

There are two things keeping this man-made global warming scam going: Twits who 'have faith' in something instead of engaging in an objective search for facts; and grant money to 'study' things to death that feeds the universities and government research bureaus and that is generously provided by government to quiet the fears of the citizens, fears that are reinforced by the studies. College boys are no fools. They will find the results that lead to more fear-based funding--a conveyor belt of MONEY.

Can't think people think humans can determine climate? You have to be an idiot to think you are more powerful than mother nature. Now who stands to gain the most from Global warming freaks and a carbon tax. Wow i guess it is the chinese and the mid east. Lets drive up the price of electric so the chicoms can produce goods cheaper. They do have a coal powered generation station come on line each week. The mid east would love a few more billion a week for their oil. Drill baby drill- drill here drill now-pay less. The $15trillion lib train is about to go over the cliff- hope you all are on board.

CARB got it wrong again. PLEASE get rid of them and their $653 MILLION annual budget.


Yikes. They are out of control.

I hope you hippies posting on this board are using solar or wind to power your computers or are you being hypocrites?

The day California shuts down its last business will be your day to celebrate I suppose.

The carbon tax is enjoying widespread support in British Columbia eh? Well that's news to me, and I live here. We HATE the carbon tax - it pushes up costs of transportation, which push up costs for food etc and in general causes an increase in our cost of living. And for what? Climate change is an unproven hypothesis, but the fact that it isn't even proven that a) climate change is caused by CO2, and b) more importantly, that cutting emissions or taxing them (even dumber) is going to have even 1 billionth of a percent of effect, why are we doing taxes, or cap and trade schemes? Both are equally stupid, and do nothing but cause economic hardship for zero environmental gain. Support neither initiative.

AGW is very real.... in California (and maybe New York). For the normal people in the "flyover states", it's a scam.

Did anyone posting on this board actually read the article. The legal challenge came from environment groups.

From the article: "The California lawsuit was filed by six environmental groups that represent low-income communities, including the Association of Irritated Residents, based in the San Joaquin Valley, and Communities for A Better Environment, which fights pollution around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach."

Where does it say "Big Oil" is part of this?

Am I missing something?

Will the last sane person leaving California please turn ON all the lights. Too many dim bulbs still there! The same idiots that voted Moonbeam in three decades ago are still running around without adult supervision. You deserve all the misery you get. It's your own damn fault! Don't look to the real world to bail your silly a$ $e$ out. It's your bed.. you're lyining in it

The Head of the Godard Institute of Space is Al Gore's right hand man.... Those Nasa readings are skewed compared to colleges that monitor the same data. Also keep in mind that this guy wrote a book about global warming and would look like an idiot if it went poof in his face.
Do some research before you buy in to this global warming bologna.

Another law predicated on the lie of "Global Warming". Didn't the Nature Conservancy get caught selling land that it bought to protect from development to David Letterman so that he could build a house on the beach?

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