California, long a trendsetter for eco-friendly living, is breaking ground again this week. It's set, as early as today, to adopt the nation's first statewide green building code, which environmentalists say is not tough enough, and is also considering paying residents to cut their energy use.
On Monday, a state panel proposed that most of the new fees California plans to impose on greenhouse-gas emissions be returned to energy-saving consumers in the form of annual dividend checks that eventually could exceed $1,000 for a family of four, the Wall Street Journal reports.
California is expected today to adopt a green building code that would reduce water use, mandate the recycling of construction waste and step up enforcement of energy efficiency in new homes, schools, hospitals and commercial buildings, the Los Angeles Times reports.
And when industry continues to leave California, from whom are they going to get carbon-emissions revenue to dole out to everybody? Thinking that the state is going to let that emissions revenue go anywhere but the state coffers is laughable to begin with.
So, we have a situation where California will be paying people to, in essence, save money – paying people to save money from a pot that is already $20 billion in the red and counting.
Ladies and Gentlemen, California! She’ll be here all week but we can’t promise anything much beyond that.
P.S. Commenter to article, "rayda" suggests: "I think we should finish the border fence and then build another one between CA and the rest of us."
P.P.S. Our snark aside, we're big fans of building green - the concept that one uses materials (cheap and local, if possible), architectural techniques, renewing technology (rainwater/graywater cisterns) and the immediate natural surroundings to cut back on the structure's energy consumption. If done properly, it will save money.
So, if there is great tangible promise in building green and it is such an apparent money-saver, why do we need mandates? Why not let developers figure out the best technology on their own rather than be forced into unfeasible green dead-ends by fiat?
As it is, there is already a 501(c) non-profit organization USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) that is dedicated to developing technologies and standards to make green building available to everyone within a generation. The data-driven savings realized plus a green certification from the USGBC will sell building green beyond any mandates.