“The United States today filed a civil complaint against the state of California, several of its officers, the California Air Resources Board, and the Western Climate Initiative Inc., for unlawfully entering a cap and trade agreement with the Canadian Province of Quebec,” the Department of Justice reported.
Well, it’s about time! In 2012, I reported the news that the California Air Resources Board California was working with Quebec on the reduction of carbon emissions in Bienvenue à Québec, CARB!.
I also broke the news that CARB set up a private corporation, Western Climate Initiative Inc. to manage the cap and trade program, in Delaware. “Cap-and-trade” refers to a regulatory system that imposes a cap on greenhouse gas emissions (GHG’s), grants regulated entities “emission allowances”—entitling them to emit a specified quantity of GHGs—and creates a market in which regulated entities may buy and sell allowances.
Delaware is well known as a tax and corporate haven, and does not have the same open-meeting laws that California has. “The California Open Meeting Act is a composition of the Ralph M. Brown Act which legislates local governments and political subdivisions and the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act which legislates the executive branch of the state, and the Grunsky-Burton Open Meeting Act which legislates methods by which public meetings are conducted on the state level,” the Sunshine Review explains.
The official DOJ complaint names:
THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA; GAVIN ) COMPLAINT C. NEWSOM, in his official capacity as ) Governor of the State of California; THE ) CALIFORNIA AIR RESOURCES BOARD; ) MARY D. NICHOLS, in her official ) capacity as Chair of the California Air ) Resources Board and as Vice Chair and a board member ) of the Western Climate Initiative, Inc.; WESTERN ) CLIMATE INITIATIVE, INC.; JARED ) BLUMENFELD, in his official capacity as Secretary ) for Environmental Protection and as a board member ) of the Western Climate Initiative, Inc.; KIP LIPPER, ) in his official capacity as a board member of the ) Western Climate Initiative, Inc., and RICHARD ) BLOOM, in his official capacity as a board member ) of the Western Climate Initiative, Inc.,
CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols has never sufficiently answered why they registered the corporation in Delaware, but anyone who owns or runs a California corporation will tell you that and that between the tax advantages and privacy/secrecy laws, Delaware has its advantages. Wink. Wink.
“The state of California has veered outside of its proper constitutional lane to enter into an international emissions agreement. The power to enter into such agreements is reserved to the federal government, which must be able to speak with one voice in the area of U.S. foreign policy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “California’s unlawful cap-and-trade agreement with Quebec undermines the President’s ability to negotiate competitive agreements with other nations, as the President sees fit.”
Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement on this lawsuit, claiming, “Trump Administration’s Attack on California’s Landmark Cap-and-Trade Program.”
Governor Gavin Newsom issued the following statement today after the Trump administration announced a lawsuit challenging California’s pioneering cap-and-trade program:
“The White House is yet again continuing its political vendetta against California, our climate policies and the health of our communities.
“Carbon pollution knows no borders, and the Trump administration’s abysmal record of denying climate change and propping up big polluters makes cross-border collaboration all the more necessary. California’s landmark cap-and-trade program has inspired the creation of dozens of businesses, is a model for similar policies around the world, and puts California well ahead of the pack as we prepare for a low-carbon future.
“For years our state has proudly participated in a number of environmental partnerships that tackle the devastating effects of climate change to our health and economy. This latest attack shows that the White House has its head in the sand when it comes to climate change and serves no purpose other than continued political retribution.”
Gov. Jerry Brown and California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols are the ones with their heads in the sand. California’s cap and trade program essentially is a pollution tax on productive industries and businesses in the state. Taxing these businesses has done nothing to address climate change, or polar ice caps.
Never once has the California Air Resources Board admitted their intent with the Delaware Corporation, nor has any other California media asked them to.
“According to the complaint, filed today in the Eastern District of California, the defendants have pursued or are attempting to pursue an independent foreign policy in the area of greenhouse gas regulation,” the DOJ said. “The Constitution prohibits states from making treaties or compacts with foreign powers, yet California entered into a complex, integrated cap-and-trade program with the Canadian province of Quebec in 2013 without congressional approval.”
I also explained this in 2012:
CARB pulled this maneuver in defiance of the California Constitution, Article I Section 3:
” (b) (1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws; and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
According to their website, WCI, Inc. was created to develop a compliance tracking system that tracks both allowances and offsets for the CARB’s can and trade program. WCI, Inc. will also administer allowance auctions; and conduct market monitoring of allowance auctions and offset certificate trading.
“The Board of Directors is made up of public officials from Quebec and British Columbia, and public officials from the State of California,” I wrote in 2012.
California officials include:
Matt Rodriguez, Secretary for Environmental Protection, Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkelely, and Kip Lipper, senior staff member to California State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and D-Sacramento, often called the “41st senator,” and referred to as the godfather of California’s environmental bills.
No environmental legislation passes, or gets killed in the Legislature, without Lipper’s approval.
“Lipper is officially classified as an “environmental consultant” to the state Senate. Any environmental bill that has come out of the Legislature in the last decade has only done so because Lipper allowed it, or because he made it happen,” I wrote in CEQA reforms blow smog over state. “When a bill becomes ‘Lipperized,’ it is altered into a far different bill than the original. Or the bill will die in a committee upon Lipper’s orders.”
And Lipper is now on the WCI, Inc. Board of Directors.
Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division added: “California’s agreement with Quebec, which the Western Climate Initiative facilitates (and where the Western Climate Initiative’s board is run by California and Quebec governmental actors), interferes with the proper execution of these federal responsibilities. Accordingly, today’s complaint asks the court to uphold the exclusive role of the federal government in conducting our foreign policy by declaring the agreement — and related statutes and regulations —unconstitutional, and enjoining their operation.”
Read the entire lawsuit HERE. This is going to be very interesting.
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