Californians are tired of divisive politics taking the place of meaningful policy debates. But in their Aug. 16 Viewpoints article “Clean energy law drives innovation, creates jobs, attracts investments,” W. Bowman Cutter and Matthew E. Kahn do just that and distract from the real discussion surrounding AB 32.
Despite their claim that it will produce tremendous economic benefits for California, many studies have found that AB 32 will harm California’s economy; the only debate is how much.
The California Air Resources Board acknowledges AB 32 will result in a net loss of up to $35 billion in gross state product, while researchers at Andrew Chang and Co. found that California will lose $153 billion, even under optimistic conditions.
Why do our results vary? Whereas our benefits are consistent, ARB failed to consider a number of costs that are included in our analysis, including new power transmission lines, backup power, truck fuel standards and implementation costs for local government. Moreover, ARB’s study was developed without the benefits of data indicating that the new fuels market ARB pinned its hopes on has not materialized.