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Major CA Polluters' Lobby Group Members Include Green Companies Surprised To Learn Of Lobby's Goals

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:15 AM
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Major CA Polluters' Lobby Group Members Include Green Companies Surprised To Learn Of Lobby's Goals
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Few groups are more active in monitoring the global-warming regulations than the Implementation Group. Since 2007, it has sent 41 letters to the Air Resources Board, the governor's office and local air quality districts. The most recent missive was sent Jan. 11, and complained about the board's proposed cap-and-trade system. The group and its sponsors have questioned an economic-impact study downplaying the financial effect on businesses; complained about the fairness of $63 million in new fees imposed on large polluters; challenged the resources board in court for documentation of the board's spending; and questioned the board's authority to conduct a carbon-offset program.

Despite the organization's name, at least one member of the AB 32 Implementation Group said that "implementing" the global-warming law was not the group's actual goal. "The title may be misleading," acknowledged James Duran, the legislative action chairman for the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and a member of the Implementation Group. The role of the group, Duran said, is "to provide a focused voice on how to ensure that business economic impact is quantified and minimized."

SOME GROUP MEMBERS NO LONGER EXIST

California Watch found five businesses listed as Implementation Group members that were unaware that a high-ranking member of the group had called for suspending AB 32. All five are "green" enterprises that would benefit directly from AB 32's emphasis on clean energy and sustainable practices. "I knew that they had an agenda, but I didn't realize they were using people like me to further their goals," said Steve Coyle, principal of Town-Green, a sustainable architecture firm in Oakland. Coyle's firm joined the group in hopes of bringing a "progressive voice" to its debate. He said he was dismayed that Rothrock, the group's co-chair and chief public representative, had called for suspending the law. He has since notified the group that he wants out.

Other companies were similarly surprised by the Implementation Group's connections to major polluters. "I was completely unaware of that," said Jeff Cox, a senior policy adviser at FuelCell Energy, a Connecticut-based company that makes zero-emissions energy equipment. "We were of the belief that it was an ad hoc group of business interests - but it appears that the group has been shanghaied by a group of well-connected interests."

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http://www.bakersfield.com/news/local/x113239875/Busine...
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