The air quality in Sacramento continues to be awful, with the heavy smoke in the area caused by fires in Northern California. Consequently, the media attention to this tragic state of events and addressing it in the future continues.
My 2016 bill, SB 1463, started with a simple request from within my District from Laguna Beach. It enjoyed a healthy review by committees in both chambers and never received a vote of opposition. But, it was vetoed by Governor Brown. So, we did another SB 1463 this year (using the number again on an intentional basis).
Katy Grimes of the FlashReport covers it in the piece below. Which prompts me to provide the substantive UPDATEs covering both bills over the last three years, in reverse date order. For a couple of them, I provide my frustrations expressed in the postings, as I know you can’t possibly link to them all (but, the evidence is here that shows my diligence to this critical topic):
Let the record show that I tried to address the global warming concerns with SB 1463. I would conclude that the state’s efforts to truly address greenhouse gases are, at best, a joke, and at worst, a fraud. Not including the greenhouse gases generated by wildfires and not approving the provision of a simple way to address the hardening of electrical power lines is, in my opinion, legislative malpractice by the majority party.
A few days of wildfires generate as much in greenhouse gases as all of the cars in California operating for an entire year. [Governor Brown’s] not addressing the real root causes of “climate change” makes him look like a flimflam man. Consequently, I’ll try to help him out in his last year of office by crafting legislation that directs cap and trade tax revenues towards addressing the state’s aging and vulnerable utilities infrastructure and electrical power distribution.
With more than 40 casualties, most of them 70 years of age or older who could not flee, this state needs to get serious about reducing wildfires. Blaming climate change is embarrassing and it’s a misdirection of the most disingenuous type.
Not to belabor this topic, but CalMatters is back with a piece on this topic in “As California burns, climate goals may go up in smoke–even after the flames are out,” by Julie Cart (see https://calmatters.org/articles/as-california-burns-climate-goals-may-go-up-in-smoke-even-after-the-flames-are-out/). Here are the opening paragraphs:
As crews across California battle more than a dozen wildfires—including the largest in state history—the blazes are spewing enough carbon into the air to undo some of the good done by the state’s climate policies.
What’s even worse: Climate-warming compounds that will be released by the charred forests long after the fires are extinguished may do more to warm up the planet than the immediate harm from smoky air.
Scientists say that only about 15 percent of a forest’s store of carbon is expelled during burns. The remainder is released slowly over the coming years and decades, as trees decay.
That second hit of carbon, experts say, contains compounds that do more to accelerate climate change than those from the original fire. And future fires over previously burned ground could make climate prospects even more bleak.
“The worst possible situation is the fire that comes through and kills everything,” said Nic Enstice, regional science coordinator for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. “Then, ten or fifteen years later, another fire comes through and releases all the carbon left in the trees on the ground. That’s really bad.”
It’s a scenario that could explode at any time. Enstice cited a research paper published this year that laid out a chilling tableau: California has more than a 120 million dead trees strewn around its mountain ranges, with the southern Sierra hardest hit.
When fires hit those downed trees, the state will begin to experience “mass fires” spewing plumes of carbon. The resulting conflagrations, according to the researcher, will be almost unimaginable.
“The emissions from those fires will be unlike anything we will have ever seen,” Enstice said. “And you won’t be able put it out.”
And today’s The Wall Street Journal opines in “Fire and Water in California” (see https://www.wsj.com/articles/fire-and-water-in-california-1533683261).
Here are the concluding paragraphs:
Another challenge is state politicians who’d rather spend money on green pork. This year the Democratic legislature appropriated a mere $30 million of cap-and-trade revenues for fuel reductions on 60,000 acres of forest land. They allocated $335 million for electric vehicle subsidies. Democrats have also spent billions on high-speed rail, but only this year did they get around to appropriating $101 million to replace a dozen or so Vietnam War-era helicopters unequipped with modern technology that enables night-flying for fire-fighting.
Imagine the damage that could have been averted—and lives saved—if the state had replaced the antiques earlier and cleared millions of dead trees in lieu of building the train whose costs are careening toward $100 billion and may never be finished. But instead of examining their own priorities, the state’s politicians will blame the damaging fires on climate change and Donald Trump.
CA Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoed Bipartisan Wildfire Management Bill in 2016
Posted by Katy Grimes
Last year, as all Hell was breaking loose in California as residents were burned out of their homes, neighborhoods and businesses, Gov. Jerry Brown was jetting around the world spouting climate change propaganda, and calling this California’s ‘new normal.’
“With climate change, some scientists are saying Southern California is literally burning up, and burning up as maybe a metaphor or a description not just to the fires right here, but what we can expect over the next years and decades,” Brown said.Today, as California burns once again under torrential wildfires, many Californians have been asking why the dramatic increase in wildfires in the last five years… that is everyone except Governor Jerry Brown. Governor Brown claims that year-round, devastating fires are the “new normal” we must accept.
Megan Barth and I reported Monday:
“Supporting Obama-era regulations have resulted in the new normal: an endless and devastating fire season. Obama-era regulations introduced excessive layers of bureaucracy that blocked proper forest management and increased environmentalist litigation and costs– a result of far too many radical environmentalists, bureaucrats, Leftist politicians and judicial activists who would rather let forests burn, than let anyone thin out overgrown trees or let professional loggers harvest usable timber left from beetle infestation, or selectively cut timber.”
Jerry Brown, busy mulling ways to prevent the end of the world, took the Clinton and Obama-era gross regulations a step even further when he vetoed a bipartisan wildfire management bill in 2016.
At the request of the City Council of Laguna Beach, Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), authored SB 1463 in 2016, a bipartisan bill which would have given local governments more say in fire-prevention efforts through the Public Utilities Commission proceeding making maps of fire hazard areas around utility lines.
Laguna Beach went through four fires sparked by utility lines in the last ten years, and has done as much in the way of prevention as they could afford. The bill would have allowed cities to work with utilities to underground utility lines, and work with the Public Utilities Commission to develop updated fire maps by requiring the PUC to take into consideration areas in which communities are at risk from the consequences of wildfire — not just those areas where certain environmental hazards are present.
Moorlach’s bill came about when on February 2, 2016, the PUC served the final version of Fire Map 1, and the City of Laguna Beach was not placed within the low-risk margins of the Utility Fire Threat Index.
Gov. Brown vetoed SB 1463, despite being passed by the Legislature, 75-0 in the Assembly and 39-0 in the Senate. That tells you this was political. The Governor’s veto message did not properly address why he vetoed the bill. Brown claimed that the PUC and CalFire have already been doing what Moorlach’s bill sought to accomplish. How on earth could Brown kill this bill when the state was burning down?
“SB 1463 would have not only safeguarded Laguna and other high fire-risk communities in Orange County, but would have helped other vulnerable communities throughout the state that are often threatened by wildfires caused by sparks from shorted or fallen utility lines,” Sen. Moorlach said in a statement following the surprise veto. “The Governor’s veto impedes the necessity to more urgently address the California Public Utilities Commission’s focus on identifying high risk areas that should be prioritized for appropriate mitigation measures.”
California fires produced as much pollution in 2 days as all the state’s cars do in a year.
After SB 1463 was killed by Gov. Brown, Sen. Moorlach and his brilliant staff had an epiphany: Redirect the state’s accumulated cap-and-trade funds into wildfire prevention.
Authored in 2018, the new Senate Bill 1463, aptly named “Cap and Trees,” would continuously appropriate 25 percent of state cap-and-trade funds to counties to harden the state’s utility infrastructure and better manage wildlands and our overgrown and drought-weakened forests, Moorlach recently wrote in a San Francisco Chronicle op ed.
The idea was to actually reduce the state’s highest source of greenhouse gas emissions, curb the impacts of future wildfires and prevent unnecessary damage to life and property, the new SB 1463 fact sheet reported.
However, SB 1463 was killed in the radical Senate Environmental Quality Committee by Democrats, even though there was no opposition to it. The killing was purely political, with no regard given to the people of the state.
Cap and Trade was a scheme born out of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, known as AB 32, which charged the California Air Resources Board with lowering greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, AB 32 requires the ARB to inventory GHG emissions in California, and approve statewide GHG emissions limits.
As important, Sen. Moorlach’s second version of SB 1463 would also have required the California Air Resources Board to include greenhouse gas emissions from wildland and forest fires in their updated Scoping Plan. The ARB does not actually track GHGs – they just estimate. The ARB is extorting millions of dollars from California businesses on their best guesses.
It is estimated that “for every 2 to 3 days these wildfires burn, GHG emissions are roughly equal to the annual emissions from every car in the entire state of California,” USA Today/Reno Gazette reported in 2017. Last year, there were more than 9,000 major wildfires which burned over 1.2 million acres. Several of the large fires were caused or exacerbated by sparking utility lines.
The problem is that the Air Resources Board Scoping Plan ignores the most egregious of all GHG emission problems – manmade wildfires. Instead, the ARB spends a substantial amount of cap and trade funds on high-speed rail, which literally increases GHG emissions and eliminates large carbon sinks. The ARB has a history of diverting funds to pet projects and programs that have little or nothing to do with actually reducing GHG emissions.
The Senate Environmental Quality Committee, responsible for killing Moorlach’s SB 1463, has a radical environmentalist/preservationist as the committee consultant. In the only bill analysis done on SB 1463, this is the drivel she wrote:
“…natural disasters that emit GHGs (such as wildfires) occurred before climate change, will continue to occur as the climate continues to change, and will persist even if mankind ultimately solves the problem of climate change.”
“While science can now conclusively attribute individual extreme events to climate change, it is important to distinguish that extreme events like the recent wildfires in California are a symptom of climate change, not the cause.”
“The overwhelming consensus of climate scientists is that climate change is anthropogenic, meaning human activity has caused the rising GHG concentrations in the atmosphere and, therefore, increasing average global temperatures and the extreme events climate change causes.”
“To include GHG emissions from natural disasters in the state’s inventory that tracks progress towards California’s climate goals, even ones that are made worse by climate change, betrays the fundamental scientific understanding that human activity is responsible for climate change.” (Her emphasis, not mine) 04/19/18- Senate Environmental Quality
Jerry Brown’s Exploitation of California Events
“There is no hope for the truth when world leaders like Governor Brown of California (he runs the 19th largest economy in the world) can present such utterly false information in pursuit of a political agenda,” Dr. Tim Ball wrote about Brown’s recent screed on the fires:
“Since civilization emerged 10,000 years ago, we haven’t had this kind of heat condition, and it’s going to continue getting worse and that’s the way it is.” — Jerry Brown
“Civilization began more than 10,000 years ago and, in my opinion, it hasn’t reached California yet,” Dr. Ball added in a guest opinion at Watts Up With That, an outstanding website dedicated to actual science (no emotions) about global warming and climate change.
In his introductory climatology class, Dr. Ball tells his students to “watch for a sequence of events from California. This will begin with complaints about drought and threatened water supplies. In the Fall, we will have stories about fires decimating the landscape and burning up communities. The next in the sequence is rain and mudslides. Welcome to sunny southern California. I don’t recall a year in which that sequence did not occur. The only differences were the intensity of the events, the hysteria of the media and the degree of political exploitation.”
Dr. Ball concluded: “Exploitation of the California events is just another example of the standard ploy of environmentalists to take normal events and present them as abnormal.”
Jerry Brown’s Real Legacy
Remember when Gov. Jerry Brown said the world needs ‘brain washing’ on climate change. Sounding indeed brainwashed, Brown said, “The problem … is us. It’s our whole way of life. It’s our comfort … It’s the greed. It’s the indulgence. It’s the pattern. And it’s the inertia.”
Brown screeched in 2015 that California has an overpopulation problem, and the ongoing drought was proof that the explosion of population in California has reached the limit of what the states’ resources can provide. “We are altering this planet with this incredible power of science, technology and economic advance,” Brown told the publisher of the Los Angeles Times. “If California is going to have 50 million people, they’re not going to live the same way the native people lived, much less the way people do today.… You have to find a more elegant way of relating to material things. You have to use them with greater sensitivity and sophistication.”
Brown has managed to divert the fawning, slobbering California media away from his actual responsibilities as California Governor, and instead has them focused on hysteria, doom, gloom, and intangibles like “climate change.”
This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.