Gov. Moonbeam to use cap-and-trade money to balance budget; Air chief Mary Nichols says ‘cap’ only important part of cap-and-tax

No wonder it was nicknamed “cap-and-tax.”

E&E Daily reports:

California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday proposed borrowing $500 million in revenues from the state’s landmark carbon cap-and-trade auctions and using those to help balance the general fund budget.

The enviros don’t like it:

“This means the governor will be delaying opportunities to use those funds to actually get critical reductions in global warming pollution at the time when all science shows that we must reduce those emissions as much and as quickly as possible,” Kathryn Phillips, executive director of Sierra Club California, said in a statement.

“This shift in funds is extraordinarily disappointing,” she added. “The governor is using bizarre accounting to ‘balance’ the budget and making future generations pay the price with climate disruption.”

A group that represents low-income communities located near power plants accused Brown of subverting the intent of S.B 535, legislation passed last year that requires part of the auction money go toward helping economically disadvantaged areas.

“The governor is playing a dangerous game that could wreck California’s push toward clean energy,” said Ryan Young, legal counsel at Greenlining Institute, in a statement. “Voters of color turned out in force to protect A.B. 32, the clean energy law, when it was under attack by Prop. 23, and they did it based on the promise that it would bring clean energy investments to polluted and struggling communities.”

“Seizing these funds for other uses will hurt our state’s neediest communities, and it’s simply not necessary,” Young added.

Finally, California air chief Mary Michols debunks the notion of cap-and-trade:

Nichols said that the loan would not hurt the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. By 2020, the state wants to cut emissions to 1990 levels and by 2050 aims to cut greenhouse gas pollution 80 percent.

“The part about the cap-and-trade program that is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it’s the cap, it’s the lowering of the cap,” Nichols said. “It’s not the revenue that we get from the allowances.

7 thoughts on “Gov. Moonbeam to use cap-and-trade money to balance budget; Air chief Mary Nichols says ‘cap’ only important part of cap-and-tax”

  1. “California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday proposed borrowing $500 million”

    Borrowing is an interesting term. He isn’t going to borrow the money, he’s going to spend it. It will be gone. Forever.

    “Repaying it” doesn’t work in the context of a state government’s finance. You’d have to be as dumb as a journalist to believe it could be.

  2. Just like the cigarette penalties and added taxes were going to be used to combat smoking addiction and related health costs. The money went into the general funds and was vaporized.

  3. We keep saying this: anything about “cap and trade” is not trade because there’s no actual commodity of value to exchange. “Cap and trade” is either a form of tax or wealth destruction and usually both.
    There may be a revenue stream from the “auction” of “allowances” but it’s surely being surpassed by the losses in other revenue streams. The net effect will be to reduce the state’s revenues and worsen their deficits. WHich I would have thought scarcely possible but Gov. Brown continues to exceed my expectations of his incompetence.
    Let’s be fair, though. He can only do this kind of damage with help from the legislature and the voters.
    We could use a Constitutional amendment to allow both secession and expulsion of states that insist on following stupid policy that will harm other states.

  4. Everything requiring “cap and trade” is already taxed. “Cap and trade” is simply more tax.

  5. I can’t believe they didn’t see this coming. This is the whole purpose of “cap and tax,” to get more income for the state (or nation or whatever) to piss away.

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