Is Logue even listening?

Local assemblyman ignores evidence of clean-tech benefits

Give local Assemblyman Dan Logue credit for consistency. After he took office in January, the first thing he did was sponsor a bill to repeal AB 32, the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act. Last week he was still at it, saying in a Dec. 4 op-ed piece that “It’s time to suspend AB 32” because, he argues, it’s too expensive for both taxpayers and business.

This time he trots out “Climategate,” the tempest in a teapot that’s been made out of a few British scientists’ private e-mail messages. “This ‘Climategate’ scandal is perhaps the largest and most damaging public fraud of our time,” Logue grandly insists. Like other conservative ideologues, he’s trying to use this minor incident to discredit the scientific community’s agreed-upon observation that human-caused greenhouse gases are a threat to life on earth as we know it.

Interestingly, Logue issued his opinion piece just two days after his fellow Republican, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, released a first-of-a-kind Climate Adaptation Strategy. The strategy lays out what California must do to manage climate impacts from sea-level rise, increased temperatures, changing precipitation (less snow, more rain) and extreme natural events. Fittingly, the governor made his announcement on Treasure Island, which is projected to be under water from sea-level rise—as is much of coastal California—within a century.

Logue’s timing was bad in another respect. The day before, on Dec. 3, the San Francisco-based Center for Resource Solutions, a national nonprofit environmental think tank, released its examination of four differing economic studies of the impact of AB 32. Three of the four analyses show the costs of climate policy are far outweighed by projected economic growth. Those three studies were done by the California Air Resources Board, University of California researchers, and Charles River Associates/Electric Power Research Institute. (The fourth study, by Varshney and Tootelian, examined only costs and excluded benefits associated with the law.)

All three studies, states the report’s author, Chris Busch, “show similar results: robust economic growth in California after the implementation of AB 32.”

Dan Logue has complained of the lack of documentation of the number of green jobs AB 32 will produce. As we’ve pointed out before, clean-tech start-ups attracted $3.3 billion in venture capital in 2008, more than any other industry. Now the CRS report confirms that green technology is actually a job producer. Is Dan Logue even listening?