News & Updates - Business Roundtable Responds to Air Resources Board’s Draft Scoping Plan

SACRAMENTO—Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, issued the following statement in response to the Air Resources Board’s Draft Scoping Plan Update:

“We have and continue to support the state’s climate change goals. However, as we continue to implement our current policies, we are beginning to see the reality as the state transitions from goals to mandates. Working families are paying highest-in-the-nation gasoline prices, 50 percent more for residential electricity than they did just 10 years ago, and the highest inflation rate since June 1982. Just last week, state officials admitted as many as 4 million residents could be subject to rolling blackouts this summer due to inadequate electricity supply, while also stating that residential electricity rates will increase another 40-70 percent by 2030. On our current path, California families’ electric costs will increase by as much as 120 percent by the end of this decade.

“Businesses need certainty to grow and invest in jobs here. But our current policies have us facing an unpredictable and unreliable electric grid. Now the Air Resources Board (ARB) wants to make it worse by driving up energy and transportation costs even higher, which will be disproportionately paid by those who can least afford it. Inland regions of our state already pay up to 70 percent more for electricity than the more temperate—and often more affluent—coastal communities. And thanks to the state’s ongoing housing crisis, which has been exacerbated by climate policies, working families cannot afford to live near work and will again disproportionately pay for further gasoline increases and regressive policies like a vehicle miles traveled charge.

“Throughout the Scoping Plan process, we, along with the broader business community, have repeatedly raised concerns about cost to the ARB board and staff, stating that any final plan must appropriately consider the most cost-effective approach to achieving our climate goals. We already have a poverty crisis in California, partially driven by our transportation and energy costs. As this process moves forward, we encourage the ARB and Legislature to carefully consider the impact new policies have on working families, certainty, stability, and economic growth. If California is going to lead in transforming our economy through energy policy, we cannot afford to get it wrong. We must be able to show responsible, reasonable, and affordable policies that allow us to achieve our goals without driving families into poverty and businesses out of this state.”

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