The devil is in the (lack of) details

By Mark Orcutt, Communications Manager
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(Photo Credit: LA Times / Thomas Hawk / Gage Skldmore - collage compiled by the EBLC)

The East Bay Leadership Council agrees with Governor Brown, Speaker De León, and Oscar awarding winning actress Halle Berry.

We agree that the rest of the world is watching very carefully what is happening regarding SB 350 and the 50 percent reduction in petroleum use it mandates.

That is why we believe this critical legislation requires thoughtful deliberation of the details, not an end of session legislative backroom blitz.

National political commentators have weighed in, pricey public opinion campaigns are flooding the airwaves and cramming into website margins, lobbyists are piling on, and yet all we know is that no one knows how the mandated reductions would be met, what it will cost, and who will be footing the bill.

The Council advocates on behalf of a region where a budding engineering student just landed their first job out of college at Chevron or Phillips 66, where your neighbor just celebrated their fifteenth workiversary at Shell, and where you drive past Tesoro’s refinery everyday while sitting bumper-to-bumper on Highway 4.

Some supporters argue that new technologies and innovation will fill the manufacturing jobs void in time, but tell that to the thousands of East Bay families whose jobs and livelihood hinge on the details of SB 350.

The Council understands the importance of tackling greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring a healthy environment for generations to come, but addressing this critical issue without a discussion of the real-world impacts is irresponsible.

Dan Walter’s recently referred to SB 350 as “half baked” and compared it to the failed overhaul of electric power management and pricing at the end of the 1996 session – we could not agree more with his analysis.

That legislation, like SB 350 was rushed through the legislature without discussion of the details. It was later repealed as blackouts rolled across California and the electric power system was destined for economic collapse.

We urge legislators to demand more information about SB 350 before supporting this vague and potentially harmful legislation.

Some say the devil is in the details.

The East Bay Leadership Council says the devil in SB 350 is in the lack of details.