By ROBERT BRYCE
August 3, 2015 8:00 AM
For the state’s elites, fighting climate change comes first — no matter the cost.
In a recent column in the Orange County Register, demographer Joel Kotkin wrote, “California is a great state in which to be rich,” but he added that affluence in California “co-exists alongside unconscionable poverty.” He pointed out that in the Golden State, the poverty rate for Latinos is 33.7 percent and for African Americans, 30 percent. Both those percentages are well above national averages.
Kotkin’s column, which carried the headline “Putting climate change ahead of constituents,” excoriates the energy policies being promoted by California’s liberal politicians, policies that he calls “environmental puritanism.” Kotkin (whom I am proud to call a friend) has it exactly right. California may be one of America’s most liberal states, but its energy policies are regressive, and the state’s headlong rush toward lower carbon-dioxide emissions and greater use of renewables will only make that regressivity worse.
Liberal Democrats across the country frequently talk about the plight of Latinos and African Americans, and the need to increase take-home pay for the poor and the middle class, but their energy policies are hurting those very same people. No state provides a better example of that than California. And no policy provides a better example of regressive energy taxation than California’s renewable-energy mandate.