(Orange, Ca) The Center for Demographics & Policy at Chapman University has published new research that concludes California leadership’s progressive agenda focus on climate change has been at the expense of those in lower socio-economic communities, primarily ethnic minorities such as Latinos and African-Americans.
The Report entitled, “California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change” was produced by Jennifer Hernandez and David Friedman. Copy of the 110-page document can be found by clicking here.
The report is an analysis of the impact of AB32. According to the California State website, “In 2006, the Legislature passed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 [Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32)], which created a comprehensive, multi-year program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California. AB 32 required the California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) to develop a Scoping Plan that describes the approach California will take to reduce GHGs to achieve the goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The Scoping Plan was first approved by the Board in 2008 and must be updated every five years. The First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan was approved by the Board on May 22, 2014. In 2016, the Legislature passed SB 32, which codifies a 2030 GHG emissions reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels. With SB 32, the Legislature passed companion legislation AB 197, which provides additional direction for developing the Scoping Plan. ARB is moving forward with a second update to the Scoping Plan to reflect the 2030 target set by Executive Order B-30-15 and codified by SB 32.”
The study’s 5 major findings include the following
1- The CARB Scoping Plan results in highly regressive cost burdens that particularly affect basic living expenses, including housing, transportation, heat and electricity for the state’s historically disadvantaged, and now majority minority populations, as well as less affluent and educated residents in all demographic groups.
2- Climate policy related energy cost increases have a much more damaging effect in California’s inland regions, where winter and summer conditions are much more extreme than in coastal areas, and where Latino and less affluent households have increasingly clustered to find affordable housing. The state’s inland population is also required to commute longer distances to work.
3-California’s climate program also reduces the state’s ability to generate higher wage jobs for residents without college degrees in manufacturing or other industries highly sensitive to energy and housing costs.
4- California’s wealthy, coastal environmental advocates also routinely lobby to shut down or deny approvals of projects that would create working and middle class jobs, even when such jobs would help achieve global greenhouse gas reductions (GHG’s).
5- Although California’s climate programs include the allocation of at least some of the new, highly regressive GHG-related fees and taxes to assist poorer Californians affected by higher energy and housing costs, most of the available funding has benefited the acquisition of rooftop solar and electric vehicles b wealthier residents comprising the top 20% of the state’s income earners.
The report suggests that loyalty from ethnic minorities to the Democratic Party is not well placed considering the economic hardship democratic policies have placed on those in lower socio-economic levels.
While many reports show California having an economic boon, Hernandez and Friedman suggest that a majority of this economic increase over the last 10 years has been concentrated in Silicon Valley which has skewed the numbers for the state.
California Voter Demographics
The Public Policy Institute of California published analysis of California voter demographics.
The report concludes, “An overwhelming majority of African American likely voters (76%) and a solid majority of Latino likely voters (63%) are registered as Democrats. Among Asian American likely voters, a majority (52%) are registered as Democrats, 15% as Republicans, and 29% as independents (previously called “decline to state” and now called “no party preference” voters). Party registration among white likely voters is more evenly divided, with 38% registered as Democrats, 38% as Republicans, and 19% as independents.”
Analysis of Ventura County
The Chapman University report includes analysis Ranking Oxnard- Thousand Oaks- Ventura as one of the most expensive places to live in the country.
Conclusion & Analysis