If a 2006 law isn't repealed, according to Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, Victor Valley households could end up losing $4,000 each.
Mitzelfelt took aim at Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Monday afternoon at the monthly Hesperia Chamber of Commerce luncheon, held at the Courtyard by Marriott.
Employing a "cap and trade" system that allows companies to trade unused pollution credits, the bill aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.
A proposed ballot initiative to suspend the bill, the California Jobs Initiative, would halt implementation of AB 32 until the state's jobless rate, currently at 12.5 percent, drops to 5.5 percent. The initiative is funded by a number of oil companies.
The 2006 law includes an emergency provision that allows the governor to suspend it for up to a year in the case of emergency or significant economic harm.
"Five other states that have passed [similar bills] have rescinded them," Mitzelfelt said.
The law requires the California Air Resources Board adopt regulations by January 1, 2011 "to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas, including provisions for using both market mechanisms and alternative compliance mechanisms."
It's those regulations that critics warn will hurt businesses in the midst of an economic crisis.
"The cement industry is one of our largest, most stable job-producing industries in the region," Mitzelfelt said. "It's hundreds and hundreds of jobs."
The bill "does very little to limit emissions," he said. "What does limit emissions is technology," including better, more affordable "green" energy. "We have the best wind and sun in the southwest. It's going to mean a lot of good jobs."
Mitzelfelt said the state should instead wait for the federal government to establish national global warming regulations instead of western states going at it alone. (Washington and Oregon have similarly passed aggressive climate change laws.)
"It could cost every household $4,000 if we don't" rescind or suspend AB 32, he said.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.