Here’s the latest and greatest from the “golden” I mean “retarded” state and the federal government, who are respectively billions and trillions of dollars over budget and looking for any money they can rip the taxpayers off for. The clown-circuses in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., can’t ever seem to agree upon much of anything, especially how to cut costs and live within their means like the rest of us poor slobs have to. But, they can certainly get creative and agreeable when it comes to scamming the taxpayers out of more money. Thus we now get this new scheme.
According to the New York Times article titled “New tactic in California for paying pollution bill,” California has failed to reduce the ozone levels in the Central Valley (per the usual EPA edict), so now the state wants to rip-off the people who live and drive in California’s Central Valley to pay the fines levied by the Feds. A double rip-off while we’re in the middle of a horrid economic crisis that’s causing massive unemployment.
As usual, the mental midget’s in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. think we taxpayers have a hidden, unending money supply to feed the government juggernaut.
STOCKTON, Calif. — Officials who have tried and failed to clean the air in California’s smog-filled San Joaquin Valley have seized on a new strategy: getting millions of drivers to shoulder more of the cost.
Faced with a fine of at least $29 million for exceeding federal ozone limits, the San Joaquin Valley’s air quality regulators are proposing an annual surcharge of $10 to $24 on registration fees for the region’s 2.7 million cars and trucks beginning next year. A decision is expected when the governing board meets on Thursday.
Don’t you just love it? The state fails to do what they’re supposed to, so the citizens get to pay for their mistakes. They may perhaps even pay more than required. Take the above $24 dollars times 2.7 million cars and trucks and you get an astounding $64.8 million dollars. After they pay the Feds they’ll have a nice, tidy sum of $35.8 million dollars to use to help balance the budget (yeah right), or perhaps use it to expand some of those government agencies that never seem to shrink and only grow larger.
Here’s how the San Joaquin Board thinks, right from the head cheese’s mouth……
“We, the people, are the ones whom we need to point the finger at,” said Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, which administers federal and state pollution laws here.
Funny how every time there’s money involved that the “fickle finger” points back at “we” the taxpayers, regardless whose fault it is. Here is their claim as to why this must happen.
Today, vehicles are responsible for four-fifths of the region’s smog-forming pollution.
Really now? Well, I have to question that statement. First I’d like to know 4/5th of what specific pollution? Based on the old “figures lie but liars figure” words of wisdom and the fact we’re dealing with government I have to ask is this 4/5 of all pollution or just pollution selected to make it appear to be vehicle’s fault?
Per the questions & answers on their website we get this beauty……
How much comes from other areas?
Air pollution transported from the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas account for approximately 27% of the total emissions in the Northern portion of the District (San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced Counties). In the Central region (Fresno, Madera and Kings Counties), the percentage drops to 11%, and in the south valley (the Valley portion of Kern and Tulare Counties), transported air pollution accounts for only 7% of the total problem.
While some of our pollution is blown in from other areas, most of our air pollution is home grown and it is our responsibility to clean it up.
It looks to me like they’re perhaps doing some “convenient” figuring that omits other large sources of pollution. As you can already see they claim between 7% to 27% blows in from the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento area. That averages out to 15%, which is 3/4 of the 1/5 (20%) they claim as not generated purely by vehicles (4/5). Based upon their figures (80% vehicles+ 15% blown in), that leaves only 5% of their pollution as unaccounted for. I don’t know about you but I find that rather fishy myself. To make this work you would have to consider that all the industry and other things that create pollution in the Central Valley and all other sources only account for 5% of the total pollution. That’s unbelievable to me.
To quote “While some of our pollution is blown in from other areas” some? Hey! One large source of pollution they don’t mention is the one that blows into California and the United States from elsewhere, called Asia. According to what I find, a very large source of pollution and ozone in California isn’t even generated in California. From Asia News we get this tidbit……
Beijng (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Fumes and dust from industrial factories, coal-powered energy plants and privately owned cars in China are crossing the ocean and polluting the air in the United States. If drastic intervention is not taken, the situation will deteriorate rapidly and affect the entire globe.
The consequences of the country’s rapid economic development do not only pollute China: thousands of km away, across the ocean, on some days, nearly 25% of polluting matter above Los Angeles can be traced to Asia, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Scientists have confirmed that the pollution is carried by air currents and they fear that China could one day account for a third of all California’s air pollution.
Here’s some more from Common Dreams…….
WASHINGTON – A new study further bolsters concerns that pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean from China and other rapidly developing Asian nations may swamp efforts to clean up the air in the Western United States and make it difficult for states and cities to meet federal standards.
The study, based on 100,000 measurements over 25 years and a computer model tracking air-flow patterns, found that during the spring, ozone from Asia reaches Washington, Oregon, California and other states west of the Rocky Mountains.
“What we can say is there has been a strong and significant increase in ozone in the mid-troposphere in the West and it doesn’t seem the U.S. is contributing to the increase,” said Owen Cooper, a research scientist at the University of Colorado attached to NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.
Please note that the above information is right from Uncle Sam’s own mouth via the EPA and NOAA, who are both fully aware of this problem. Yet we have nefarious plans afoot to lay the blame upon the citizens of California’s Central Valley even though it appears a significant portion of this pollution is not even generated there.
Please explain how all this pollution can be created by vehicles when about one-quarter of it (25%) comes from Asia and their own numbers seem to account for 95% of it before Asia even comes into the picture? I’d really like to see the research regarding this matter.
Could this be Mathebonics at work? One should consider that perhaps they use the same math as the California Air Resources Board who recently over-calculated diesel emissions by an “unprecedented” 340% in an effort to get their way. Perhaps it’s a case of liars of a feather stick together? Perhaps another mail-order Ph.D is lurking about? I don’t know for certain, but I sure have to wonder.
I also have to question how much of this pollution is generated by interstate commerce? That is not the fault of the citizens of California and should not be charged back to them. The Feds should be deducting that portion of it, not to mention the 25% or so from Asia.
As sources of interstate commerce created pollution there are also major airports in Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield that could also be uncounted sources of interstate pollution. California’s Central Valley also has major north-south and east-west railroads and trucking routes that pass right through the Central Valley. There are Interstate 80, Interstate 5, State Highway 99, and State Highway 58, all used by a tremendous amount of trucks in interstate commerce.
There is even steamship activity in Stockton. Is all of this factored in or not?
The Central Valley of California is also a huge farming area. I wonder how much pollution is caused by that? Again, why should car owners in the Central Valley be targeted to pay for pollution from another source? Is this accounted for?
The fact is there are also five (5) coal-fired power plants in California’s Central Valley, located per below……
You can see what they pump into the Central Valley’s atmosphere. Were these taken into account? Or, were those figures conveniently ignored so the state can stick it to car owners? Again is this accounted for or not?
This all makes me question if this money-grab. Remember, in California, the government must have a 2/3 majority to pass any new taxes. If they want money and can’t get a 2/3 majority or don’t want to try to get that majority, all they need do is call it a “fee” and away goes the 2/3 majority requirement. It’s an end-run allowing them to lighten taxpayer’s wallets in cases where that 2/3 majority won’t happen.
For now, I’m calling BS on this one. Until we get to see some real figures showing what they are basing their claims on I have to question their methodology, something I think any reasonable person would and should do.
To quote Dennis Ruitenbeck from the article……
“While the San Joaquin area is so depressed, it’s going to be an undue hardship,” he said. “Why put an extra burden on people who are suffering?”
To that I’d add “Why put an extra burden on people who appear to not even be responsible for much of this problem?”
I also have to ask the same about AB32, California’s global warming law, that puts California as about the only place on the planet that even has one. Why do we need to get stuck by the burdens that will be imposed by AB32 if Prop 23 fails to get enough yet votes to neuter it until the economy picks up? Can’t we at least wait until things are on an even keel?
More CO2 Insanity of the California kind.
Source: New York Times