California's Green War

We know the problems that plague California are many. We also know that almost all of them are self-inflicted by way of onerous environmental and business regulations, confiscatory taxes, extremely liberal social policies, and enthrallment of government at all levels to public employee unions and the unrealistic pay and benefits they demand. All of these things have made it harder for the average California resident to prosper, and in many cases have made it impossible to do so. It is no wonder that businesses and people are leaving the not-so-Golden State, taking their money and jobs with them.

So what does California do to try to stem the tide of the increasing outmigration and decreasing economy?

It doubles down on stupid, of course.

Environmental policies are often economic protectionism in green clothing. A case in point is California's low-carbon fuel standard, whose constitutionality is being challenged in federal court. It's also a case study of the incredible contortions of green policy-making today.

California's low-carbon fuel mandate requires the state, by 2020, to reduce the "carbon intensity" of its transportation fuels by 10%. Carbon intensity is a fuel's "life-cycle emissions," which include the energy needed to produce and transport it. You guessed it: California fuels tend to qualify as less carbon intense than imported out-of-state fuels because they're produced closer to market and use "cleaner" (i.e., renewable) sources of power.

On the face of it it sounds logical. But looking deeper into the issue you'll find that it isn't so. For one thing some of the oil produced in California require the use of oil extraction techniques that actually make it more expensive to pump and produce high emissions along the way. Yet the state chooses to ignore that, in effect pro-rating those in-state emissions such that they don't count towards the carbon footprint of such a means of fuel production.

By the California Air Resources Board's own admission, the state's fuel standard "does not result in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale" because more carbon-intense fuels will be sold elsewhere anyway.

So what's the point of all this? The goal is to corner the market for "advanced" biofuels, such as soybean oil, landfill waste and even animal lard. This stuff will be in high demand when the U.S. EPA ratchets up the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. California subsidized the biofuels industry by $23 million this year.

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and other affected parties have sued the state for violating the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause by discriminating against out-of-state fuels. In 2011, federal Judge Lawrence O'Neill of the Eastern District of California ruled that the fuel mandate is unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction.

But wait, there's more! The Ninth Circuit Court, the most overturned federal court in the nation, vacated the lower court's order, citing whether the lower court “should have considered whether the local benefits of controlling climate change exceeded the burden on interstate commerce.”

As argued by Justice Ronald Gould, California could see "its labor force imperiled by rising temperatures, and its farms devastated by severe droughts" due to rising emissions.

By this expansive logic, California could impose restrictions on virtually any out-of-state product on the pretext of reducing carbon emissions as the state defines them.

Hmm, maybe we should do California a favor and convince the other 49 states to not sell them anything. Make California live up to the CARB rules and the ruling by the Ninth Circus (no, that's not a typo), but take it a step further by forcing them to source everything they need locally, including electricity and water. Let them see just what a 'paradise' they'll have if they have to live up to their own rules, something right out of Alinsky.

One of the better, and very brief, comments to the WSJ editorial, sums up the ideology of the Watermelon Greens perfectly:

Their point is that Global Warming cancels the Constitution.