The online California Political Review (why is it never the Los Angeles Times?) is reporting a scheme by the California Air Resources Board to conceal from public scrutiny the state’s soon to be cap-and-trade program.
This violation of California’s open meetings law was part of a package of 108 pages smuggled into State Bill 1018 the day before the bill was signed. According to reporter Eric Eisenhammer:
This legislation did not go through one committee hearing and most legislators probably never had a chance to read it. But buried in this bill in Section 12894(b)(2) is a line exempting WCI from a critical provision of the California Constitution, known as the Bagley-Keene Act, which provides meetings be open to public scrutiny.
WCI is a company called Western Climate Initiative. CARB has contracted with them to run the state’s cap and trade auction, but according to Eisenhammer the whole deal will be managed by global banks and Wall Street speculators.
Regardless of what they want to call it, these cap and trade deals are nothing but a tax penalty on energy users, and California already has some of the country’s highest energy costs. I can’t wait to see what Barclay’s and Goldman Sachs do to this “market.”
Also: California’s government regulators have had a poor record of managing or monitoring private sector contracts. They let Enron swindle the state out of $1.4 billion ten years ago and just today there are reports that J.P. Morgan Chase has hosed the state for millions in energy related expenses.