Improved Technology, Cleaner Environment, More Jobs? NO!

Wary of piling on to California’s troubles, yesterday we characterized the activist attack against Chevron’s refinery expansion in Richmond, Calif., as an example of a national phenomenon — that of environmentalists using litigation to shut down any project involving more energy.

Gino DiCaro at the California Manufacturers and Technology Association felt no such restraint in singling out his home state.

From The CMTA “mPowered” blog, “New wrinkle to environmentalism: “Stop building, retain workers, make magic“:

A Chevron project that had hired approximately 1,000 temporary Contra Costa Building and Construction Trade workers was ordered to stop construction.  The facility was being upgraded for efficiency — to make 7 percent more gasoline from the same amount of light to medium crude it was already taking in.  The shut down was absurd on its own, after a 3-year long permit approval process, but it got even more nonsensical when the environmental plaintiff’s claimed that Chevron should keep the workers on payroll because the closure was not their fault.  What?  See paragraphs 11 and 13.

So the environmental plaintiffs are asking Chevron to stop a project with demonstrable emission reductions and new efficiencies, retain and pay 1,000 people not working while they go through another long permitting process, all while the city and California lose out on emission reductions and more gasoline.   Only in California.  

Not ONLY in California. It’s just in California FIRST AND FOREMOST.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) spoke at a program last week on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Pacific Research Institute, “California’s Meltdown: Causes and Cures.” His message was that California’s descent into a collapsed economy, state insolvency, and its abandonment by industry and, now, its citizenry was the result of bad policy decisions.

McClintock summarized his arguments in a recent Washington Times column, “Warnings from the Left Coast“:

Before the 1970s, California policy aimed at accommodating growth and encouraging prosperity. These priorities changed radically beginning with the “era of limits” announced by Gov. Jerry Brown. Conventional public works were branded “growth inducing,” and it became state policy to discourage construction of highways, dams, power plants and housing….

Radical environmental restrictions have devastated the agricultural, timber and manufacturing industries, culminating in Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hallmark bill to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 25 percent by 2020 – a goal that can’t be reached even if every automobile in California is junked.

And the warning?

The decline and fall of the California Republic is a morality play in the form of Greek tragedy. Before dismissing California’s agony as the just price for its hubris and folly, though, heed this warning: Congress is well under way toward imposing the same policies on the rest of the nation. California is just a little further down that road.

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