By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
$700 billion… the California governor wants full control of that for climate change programs, for road/transportation programs and to reduce vehicle miles traveled. Remember, the largest California boondoggle is the high-speed rail system that is likely the worst and most corrupt program across America.
Earlier this year, President Trump pulled nearly $1 billion of federal money for the high-speed rail project in California that was to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco and be completed by 2033. This rail system was to only cost $77 billion and now the project construction has been reduced substantially in size where the estimated costs are in the $20 billion range. The estimated costs have jumped from $77 billion to as much as $98.1 billion.
The California Governor is still on the hook and he wants to have financial management over the state’s pension fund.
In part: Newsom’s order directs the state’s Transportation Agency, pension funds and the department that manages government contracts to reconsider how they spend the public’s money with an eye toward investing in projects that could help Californians prepare for climate change.
The executive order “is the governor saying ‘I am prioritizing this in a mainstream way across the government. The state as a major investor and asset owner needs to take climate change really seriously,’” said Kate Gordon, director of the governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
The order references funds that taxpayers typically think of as restricted, such as money earmarked for road improvements and for pension systems that have a financial obligation to earn as much cash as possible to provide retirement security for millions of government employees.
Newsom’s order happened to follow Caltrans’ release of a report describing decisions to adjust funding for highway projects that had been pledged to the Central Valley. The timing created an impression that the Newsom administration was tinkering with taxpayer-approved transportation plans.
Newsom’s executive order won’t change the restrictions lawmakers placed in the 2017 law that levied new taxes and fees on fuel and vehicle registrations to pay for road repairs, according to the state transportation agency. That law is projected to raise about $5 billion a year for roadwork.
But, the executive order could lead the California agency to adjust its plans for other funds, steering money to public transportation and other projects in dense communities near jobs to “reduce vehicle miles traveled.”
Newsom’s administration estimates the state has about $5 billion a year in transportation funds that could be redirected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More details here.
Meanwhile, The Institute for Energy Research this past August took a hard look at the Green New Deal. After a careful study of the GND, there would be a required $10 tax increase on a single gallon of gas. Additionally, in order to eliminate gas-powered vehicles in favor of electric vehicles, gasoline prices would have to increase to $13 per gallon.
Consider the financial consequences to the nation’s economy and the cost of moving goods in the transportation sector…
The Green New Deal would cripple the U.S. economy by requiring carbon taxes ranging from $200 to $1000 per metric ton to spur replacement of current technologies in the transportation and electric generating sectors. If the United States were to implement carbon taxes of this nature, Americans would be devastated financially. And, given that the United States emits about 15 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions compared to China which emits 28 percent of the world total, U.S. reductions would have little impact on global atmospheric concentrations. According to China’s commitment to the Paris Climate agreement, the country will not begin to reduce carbon dioxide emissions until after the year 2030.
Most Americans would find $13 per gallon gasoline unacceptable. The impacts on households and businesses of all kinds would be enormous. A quadrupling of gasoline prices would plunge the U.S. economy into a deep recession. Policymakers should understand the consequences of their proposals.
While the impeachment process is going on in the House of Representatives, Speaker Pelosi was attending a UN climate change summit in Madrid. While there she declared that the United States was still in the Paris Agreement, in spite of President Trump exiting the United States from the non-binding agreement.
Gotta wonder where this is all going and where the collaboration is in the Pelosi orbit or that of Governor Newsom. Better ask some harder questions of those Democrat presidential candidates in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and beyond.