SACRAMENTO – The Air Resources Board has announced nearly $1 million in penalties against three companies for late or inaccurate reporting of their greenhouse gas emissions for 2011. This action marks the second time the Air Resources Board has issued fines for violations of California’s Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting regulation.
While free-market environmentalists push cap-and-trade systems as a panacea for climate change worries, many in the environmental justice community have yet to buy into it. Their reasons for this vary, but one major concern is that there’s little guarantee that overburdened communities won’t still catch the brunt of industrial pollution. What stops billionaire companies like ExxonMobil from continuing to pollute poor communities if, rather than rein in their emissions under the established cap, they can simply purchase more permits to pollute?
California businesses and the public at large are beginning to reap the substantial rewards of our state’s landmark clean air and energy policies. Unfortunately, this progress is in significant jeopardy thanks to the oil industry and other dirty energy companies that continue to do everything possible to undermine these laws. It is important to remember the long history of these efforts by looking at the facts – and that means treading over some familiar turf.