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Browsing the blog archives for July, 2012.

The Peripheral Canal A Bad Idea Then – A Worse Idea Now

Assemblyman/Senator Jim Nielsen

7/25/2012 | Opinion Editorial

From State Assemblyman Jim Nielsen

Governor Brown has chosen to initiate “Water War Two.” The first was his proposal to build a Peripheral Canal around the Delta that was roundly rejected by the voters in 1982. The governor staked his first tenure as governor on this dream, a dream that he now resurrects as, literally-a “Pipe Dream.” The governor is poised to propose a $24 billion system of twin tunnels to convey water from the Delta to the thirsty south and to save the Delta.

I was one of the statewide leaders of the battle to defeat the original peripheral canal. As a farmer and legislator who has represented part of the Delta and almost all of the Sacramento River and its watershed, I know such a conversion is dangerous and unnecessary. It was in the 1980’s and it is more so now.

State and federal officials acknowledge problems and have concerns but offer that these can be addressed as the project is being built. Astounding, foolish! What prudent person would sign a blank check like that?

An official at the state resources agency suggests, “We decided to embrace scientific uncertainty regarding the facilities operation, water flows, habitat restoration, and the response of fish.” Embrace scientific uncertainty?  Despicable, disastrous! It is frightening how even science is ignored because it is inconvenient. These folks are trifling with future generations and with our pocket books.

The Legislature spent cumulatively thousands of hours addressing the vast complicated elements of a water plan, striving to balance quality and supply. Though thoroughly discussed, a peripheral canal or tunnel was not a part of the plan.  Many concessions were accomplished to ensure a balanced plan that ensured water supply, quality and addressed the concerns of Californians from all parts of the state.  Most significant to me was elevating human needs for water, which for a long time legislatively and in some courts have been seen as secondary to those of fish and other environmental uses.

Ominously over the past couple of years the Resources Agency has proceeded to acquire farmland in the Delta for this tunnel project. Delta farmers were the first to suffer the arrogance of government having its way without specific statutory or fiscal authority and certainly without scientific or environmental review.

During the formation of the 2009 water plan distrust and uncertainly were exhaustively addressed. Working with the Northern California Water Association and the Regional Council of Rural Counties I was able to write and secure vital Area of Origin projection language in the statute. We were able to limit the authority of the Delta Stewardship Council, the proponents of which were attempting to create a dictatorial “water czar” and a council with power to control water in California. Already, this council and its leaders are demonstrating their bureaucratic arrogance by quietly trying to ignore those constraints and exceed their proscribed authority.

These are the worst fiscal times in California’s history and no time to contemplate either a $98 billion “Speed Rail” or a $24 billion “Peripheral Tunnel.” Neither of these wild dreams have sound scientific or fiscal foundations.

It is increasingly clear that, in so many cases, we cannot trust the agencies of government and as citizens we must assert our authority over “run amuck” agencies and leaders who would impose their vision on us.

I ask you to join me in strongly opposing these ill-founded proposals.  It is time to formally organize in our communities to oppose the “Peripheral Tunnel.”

Assemblyman Nielsen represents the Second Assembly District, which includes: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama and Yolo counties.

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Rally for Chic-fil-A

Constitution

We are planning a rally for tomorrow

(a nationally designated day for support of & at Chick-fil-A restaurants)

 5 pm til ?

 at the intersection of Highway 97 and Weed Blvd,

in support of Chick-fil-A  and free speech.

No speakers, just a citizens’ rally with signs.

If you are considering attending I would like to hear from you.

Chris Hart

530-859-1027

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California Wake Up.

Elections

Visit our Web site at:  www.VotersWakeUp.com

Concerned Citizens of California

Renewing California  

Tax Alert Voters Wake Up! Tax Alert

Will your property taxes Double? Triple? Will your rent go up?

That very likely will happen if the Democrats gain just 2 more seats in the Assembly! That will give them a 2/3 majority to overturn Prop. 13 and raise any tax or change any law they want.

Here is evidence with regards to Prop. 13, according to this article in the Bee, dated 4/19/2012. http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2012/04/steinberg-wants-to-put-initiative-process-changes-on-2014-ballot.html

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is proposing a ballot initiative that would allow the Legislature to put new ballot initiatives up for a vote of the people with only 50% of Legislators agreeing, rather than the current 2/3rds. He is also attempting to create a law that would allow the Legislature to amend or repeal an initiative 10 years after it was passed. These are two ways the Legislature would be able to change Prop. 13 with only a majority of the vote. There are not yet any plans on exactly if or how they would change it. However, we can get a pretty clear idea from recent commentary in the LA Times and other media outlets that Prop. 13 is in their sights.

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-economist-says-dump-proposition-13-20120330,0,116623.story

It is no secret these same Legislators blame California’s problems on not being able to collect enough tax revenue. They never admit that they spend too much or mismanage too much.

California has more than 500 government agencies, departments, and commissions.

Yet whenever they want to raise taxes they threaten the Fire Fighters and Police with lay-offs.

Your California Legislature and Governor Brown passed over

700 Laws in 2010! 757 Laws in 2011!

DO YOU KNOW HOW THEY AFFECT YOU?

  • Your Family? Your Children? Your Values? Financially? Legally?

HERE ARE JUST a fewOF THE HUNDREDS OF ONEROUS Laws

PASSED BY YOUR GOVERNOR and LEGISLATURE

SB 48 – Teaches the different homosexual and transgender life styles to kindergarten thru 12th grade. It forces schools to spend millions to purchase “politically correct” textbooks. It mandates education about sexual orientation and imposes moral values regarding transgender, bisexual and homosexual life styles. Parents have no choice to opt out of this program. Learn more Go to our website for full story.

SB 499 – 12 year old children can be treated for sexually transmitted disease without parent’s knowledge or consent. Imagine, your child living in your home with a contagious disease and you know nothing about it.

AB 130/131 – Illegal aliens will be eligible for in-state tuition discounts and special grants, funded by U.S. Citizens Tax Dollars. Now you know why Governor Brown is asking for more taxes, and raising tuition fees. Critics are saying it will be harder for all students to access classes and graduate in less than 6 years. Now the Democrats in the Assembly voted to make all of California a sanctuary state.

Thomas Jefferson said: No Civilized Nation can remain both ignorant and free.

It has never happened and never will.

Voters, it is time to wake up!

For more information and direct links to these stories go to:

www.VotersWakeUp.com

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How the Drought Will Affect Consumers (and What You Can Do About It)

Agriculture

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2012/07/26/3-ways-the-drought-will-affect-consumers-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

By Gary Foreman

July 26, 2012 RSS Feed Print

According to experts, the drought hitting the U.S. this year is the worst since the 1950s. More than 60 percent of the country is experiencing drought conditions. And, while the brunt of the damage will be borne by farmers, all consumers will be affected.

Corn-growing areas have been hit especially hard. The result is that corn prices are at an all-time high, around $8 per bushel. Soybean products are also reaching high prices.

Consumers will be affected in three ways: at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and in their electric bills.

Grocery Prices

The biggest effect that consumers will feel is at the grocery store. Corn and food ingredients made from corn are used in 3/4 of all grocery products. So rising prices won’t be limited to canned and fresh veggies. Higher prices will be found throughout your grocery store.

You’ll begin to see some prices rise in the next six weeks, especially on fresh corn. But the big price shock won’t happen until the beginning of 2013. For 2012 the USDA forecasts all grocery prices increasing 2.5 to 3.5 percent. Beef and veal are predicted to go up 4 to 5 percent.

Corn and soybeans are a major feedstock for beef, pigs, and chicken. In fact, about 40 percent of the total cost of bringing beef to market is the feeding cost. Some experts disagree with the USDA and predict that beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs will be more seriously affected. Prices could rise 10 percent on these items.

What You Can Do

Use sales to stock up on meat this fall. Some farmers unable to buy expensive feedstocks will bring their animals to market early, which may lower prices temporarily. Take advantage of the opportunity, but don’t buy too much. Meat will not keep in your freezer indefinitely. Most ground meat will be good for three months; roasts and steaks for six months. Make sure to package meats properly for the freezer—store wrapping isn’t enough. Don’t forget to mark what’s in the package and when it went in the freezer.

Begin to shift away from processed foods. They’re always more expensive than raw foods you prepare yourself. Plus, they’re full of ingredients made from corn or soybeans that will be increasing in price. Many prepared foods are quite easy to make yourself.

Gasoline Prices

The drought will affect gas prices. According to the USDA, 40 percent of the entire U.S. corn crop is used to produce ethanol. This year refiners are required to buy a minimum of 13 billion gallons for blending into gasoline. So no matter how high corn prices rise, a large amount will go to making gasoline, which could make prices more volatile.

Fortunately, corn is only a small part of the cost of gasoline. Changes in the price of crude oil will likely have a greater impact on the price of gasoline. But reducing the amount you spend on gasoline is a good idea in any situation.

What You Can Do

Reduce the number of miles that you drive. Not only will you buy less gas, but you’ll reduce the cost of maintenance, lengthen the life of your car, and you might even lower the cost of insuring it.

Maximize the mileage you get out of every gallon of gas. You can stretch your mileage by the way you drive and maintain your car or truck. By treating the gas pedal gently, replacing air filters, and keeping tires inflated you’ll see an improvement in your MPG.

Electricity Costs

Many electric generating plants use water for cooling. With the drought, these plants don’t have enough water to run at max capacity. The result is that less electricity is generated and power companies pay more to produce or buy electricity. Some shortages may occur.

What You Can Do

Make sure that your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency. You’ll reduce your electric bill and the strain on the electric company, too.

Reduce the amount of heat that your air conditioner needs to remove from your house. Make sure your home is properly caulked and insulated. Draw drapes over sunny windows. Limit the use of ovens and clothes dryers. Consider the installation of attic vents or fans.

Keep your air conditioner working efficiently. Clean or replace inside filters. Make sure that air can flow around the outside air compressor. Shade the compressor if possible. Use fans inside your home. Bump your thermostat up a degree or two.

What You Don’t Need to Do

There’s no need to panic. Experts still expect this to be the 3rd or 4th largest corn crop in U.S. history. Some prices will go up, but in amounts that should be manageable for the average consumer. You may need to shift some money from other categories to your grocery budget. But you will be able to feed your family and drive your car, unless oil prices go crazy.

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner who founded TheDollarStretcher.com. Since 1996 the site has helped readers “live better…for less” and features nearly 10,000 time- and money-saving articles.

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Study the Constitution in Grants Pass, Oregon on 8-11-12

CA & OR, Constitution

It is your government.

It is okay to own it.

But to own it you need the owner’s manual.  We have the manual, called “The Constitution” but to use it, we have to understand it.

Saturday afternoons, beginning August 11th and running until the election and perhaps beyond, a group of us will be getting together at Republican Headquarters, 326 SE 6th Street (near I St), Grants Pass to go through the Government Owner’s Manual.

You will get answered your questions, those things you have heard about the Constitution but don’t know if they are true, but primarily, our focus is on going through the document Article by Article, Section by Section, and ask “what does this mean?”  and “When they wrote this, what problem did they want to solve?” and “does it apply today?”

You may not be able to attend every meeting, but a very good Study Guide (written by John Chambers who used to teach the subject at the High School level and is used by private schools and homeschoolers across the country), a very good Study Guide is available in case you miss a meeting.

When:     Saturday, 1pm (first meeting August 11)

Where:    Republican Headquarters

326 SE 6th Street (near I St)

Grants Pass

Cost:       no money: an hour of your time & well worth it

RSVP:      Just show up

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NEW: Mexico dissolves its FBI and moves to legalize drugs

Foreign countries

PNP comment: It will be interesting to so how this affects our local Salmon River marijuana business and its partnership with Mexican drug cartels? — Editor Liz Bowen

July 31, 2012

Cal Watchdog.com

By Chriss Street

In a stunning development, President-elect Enrique Pena and his Institutional Revolutionary Party, who won control of Mexico’s government on July 1, moved to dissolve the Agencia Federal de Investigación.  Modeled after the United States’ FBI, the AFI was founded in 2001 to crack down on Mexico’s pervasive government corruption and drug trafficking.

With rival drug cartels murdering between 47,500 to 67,000 Mexicans over the last six years, the move by the PRI represents the total surrender of Mexico’s sovereignty back to the money and violence of Mexico’s two main drug cartels, the Sinaloa Federation and Los Zetas.  Coupled with the Obama Administration’s “Dreamer” Executive Order curtailing deportations of illegal aliens, a hands-off policy on both sides of the border foreshadows a huge increase in “narco-trafficking” violence and corruption flooding into the United States.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party ruled Mexico with an iron fist for 71 years between 1929 and 2000.  Although the PRI claimed they were the socialist peasants’ party, they operated as a corrupt political organization that siphoned off wealth from Mexico’s nationalized oil industry with extracted bribes for protecting the drug cartels that trafficked in marijuana and narcotics distribution into the United States.  As a glaring example of the level of official PRI corruption, in 1982 the oil workers’ union donated a $2 million house as a “gift” to President López Portillo.  Mexicans often joke: “Our Presidents are elected as millionaires, but they leave office as billionaires.”

Mexico’s FBI

But on December 1, 2000, Vicente Fox, the former Chief Executive of Coca-Cola in Mexico and founder of the Partido Acción Nacional, was elected president of Mexico.  Fox ran on a platform of reforming Mexico’s pervasive police corruption and his first move as President was to form the AFI.  Under the leadership of Fox and his party’s successor, President Felipe Calderón, the AFI grew over the next 11 years into a 5,000-member force with an international reputation as a premier drug enforcement agency.  The U.S. provided extensive equipment and training to the AFI.  The AFI reciprocated by capturing numerous drug kingpins and extraditing them to face criminal prosecution for murder and drug distribution in the United States.

Over the first six months of 2012, the Sinaloa Federation and Los Zetas carried out a vicious war across Mexico to expand their areas of operations and intimidate the local population.  Both cartels engaged in “information operations campaigns” by displaying large numbers of dismembered bodies in public places.  The shock value of body dumps was designed to broadcast that the cartels are the dominant authority in Mexico.

Retaliation

The AFI under the Calderón retaliated against the major drug cartel kingpins’ horrific bloodshed by partnering with the United States and Guatemala to capture Horst Walther Overdick in Guatemala, followed by the capture of Francisco Trevino and Carlos Alejandro “El Fabiruchis” Gutierrez Escobedo and the killing of Gerardo “El Guerra” Guerra Valdez in Mexico, along with the capture of Jose Trevino in the United States.

Two days after the election, Pena came to the U.S. to announce that he would “welcome debate on the issue of drug legalization and regulation in Mexico.”  In an interview by PBS News Hour, Pena clearly stated:

 ”I’m in favor of opening a new debate in the strategy in the way we fight drug trafficking.  It is quite clear that, after several years of this fight against drug trafficking, we have more drug consumption, drug use and drug trafficking. That means we are not moving in the right direction. Things are not working.”

These are “code words” to signal the PRI intends to cut a profitable deal with the cartels to legalize drugs in exchange for collecting tax revenue on drug sales.  The month before, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., had called a congressional hearing to accuse Pena of advocating “a reversion” back to the old PRI policies of “turning a blind eye to the cartels” as long as they weren’t perpetrating grisly violence.

Pena’s announcement of the PRI’s new cozy relationship with the drug cartels directly followed President Obama’s announcement of his “Dreamer” Executive Order curtailing deportations of “undocumented” aliens.  These actions have caused major alarm among rank-and-file border agents that the Sinaloa Federation and Los Zetas are now unrestrained to flood into the United States with drugs and violence.  In a joint union press conference by the customs agents and the border patrol unions, Chris Crane, president of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, warned:

“It‘s impossible to understand the full scope of the administration’s changes, but what we are seeing so far concerns us greatly.… There is no burden for the alien to prove anything.”

Read it:

http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/07/31/mexico-dissolves-its-fbi-and-moves-to-legalize-drugs/

 

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Yreka Tea Party meets July 31, 2012

John Menke Ph.D., Op-ed, TEA Party

Yreka Tea Party Patriots

Meeting for

Tuesday, July 31, 2012  

6:30 PM

Decision Life Church

Corner of Main and Oberlin — 1301 South Main St.

Yreka

“Black Bear Commune Expose`” by Mark Baird

You won’t want to miss this one, it will be juicy!!!

Public Welcome.  Contact Louise for more information at

842-5443

Comment from John Menke Ph.D. —

We really need to be at Mark’s presentation since it directly connects with all that is going on in Siskiyou County — removal of the dam in Shasta Valley (lawsuit by the Riverkeepers on the Montague Water Conservation District), the ramping up of the Trinity River beginning August 15th by BOR, and the wolves reintroduction in Butte Valley by California Department of Fish and Game very likely.

 

Petey Brucker of the BB Commune is involved in all three.  He and Mark Hampton and now Tom Cannon are conspiring to link the low flows this year in the Scott and Shasta Rivers with fish die offs by promoting ramping up the Trinity River beginning August 15, when the Klamath River will be way too warm for healthy salmon occupancy and no added flow out of Iron Gate Dam because BOR already dumped the water out of Upper Klamath Lake last winter creating low Upper Klamath Lake levels.

 

The Department of Water Resource watermaster called me in the last week of August in 2009 and told me “they are going to kill a bunch more salmon”.  

That year when he called he said the Trinity River was up to over 2,200 cfs from a base of less than 700 cfs–that was a pulse 6-day event, not an extended ramp up like is planned this August, but the triggering of salmon will commence anyway as soon as the first new water (3,600 cfs this time) gets to the estuary.  

The watermaster let me know that Brucker was doing his annual complaint that the Shasta Valley irrigators need to turn their diversions off in late August.  Hampton who worked for CDFG at the time said the kegged up salmon in the canyon reach of the Shasta River were doing fine–lie!!!!!  

Now Hampton works for NMFS and is not complaining about the ramp up flows in the Trinity River which he should.  

The Hoopas should not be wanting to trigger salmon to leave the estuary until at least September 15th.  

The Klamath is too inhospitable to salmon before that date, especially for large runs which are very likely this year.  This whole affair is related to dam removal on the Klamath River and the trouble US DOI is in with the whistleblower Dr. Paul Houser.

 

Brucker chaired the Klamath Basin Fisheries Task Force Technical Workgroup for which I was the Siskiyou County representative in 2005-6.  

The last meeting after Brucker thanked me for serving for the year as a volunteer, in the same breathe stated he was going to do everything he could to get wolves introduced to Scott Valley.  

Well CDFG is starting with Butte Valley on the wolves because OR7 is there and available for planted females to be added and apparently that has happened already.  This new director of Fish and Game moves fast and furiously at the end of Obama’s first term just in case.

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Jackson County in neighboring Oregon even made Fox News today

CA & OR, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Oregon criminalizes permaculture; claims state ownership over all rainwater – ponds and swales restricted – jail time for violators

Alex Jones’ InfoWars.com

Mike Adams
Natural News
July 30, 2012

There’s nothing more refreshing than standing in a cool, summertime rain shower. Or bathing in the warm sunlight on a crisp spring day. Or inhaling the cool autumn air, fresh with the scent of turning leaves and pine needles. These things — rainwater, sunlight, air — have long been assumed to be not only free, but un-claimable. You can’t claim to own the sunlight that falls on my front yard, for example. A corporation can’t claim intellectual property ownership over the air that you breathe and demand you pay a royalty for inhaling.

But today, Jackson County, Oregon says it owns YOUR rainwater, and the county has sentenced a man to 30 days in jail and fined him over $1500, for the supposed “crime” of collecting rainwater on his own property.

The man’s name is Gary Harrington, and he owns over 170 acres of land in Jackson County. On that land, he has three ponds, and those ponds collect rainwater that falls on his land. Common sense would say Gary has every right to have ponds with water on his 170 acres of land, but common sense has been all but abandoned in the state of Oregon.

Much like California, Oregon is increasingly becoming a collectivist state. You didn’t build that! The government built that! You don’t own that! The government owns that! That rainwater that just fell on your land? That’s the government’s rainwater, and you’re going to jail if you try to steal from the government!

That’s the explanation from Jackson County officials, who initially granted Harrington “permits” to build ponds back in 2003. Yes, in Oregon you actually need to beg for permission from the government just to have a pond on your own land. But the state of Oregon revoked his permits a few years later, after he had already created the ponds, thus putting Harrington in the position of being a “water criminal” who was “stealing” rainwater from the state.

Tom Paul, administrator of the Oregon Water Resources Department, is an obedient water Nazi. He insists, “Oregon law that says all of the water in the state of Oregon is public water and if you want to use that water, either to divert it or to store it, you have to acquire a water right from the state of Oregon before doing that activity.”

What he means, of course, is not that the water is “public” water, but that it’s government water. The government owns it, and if you “steal” from the government by, for example, collecting rainwater off your own roof, you will go to jail.

Thus, even when rainwater falls on your own property, you don’t own it! The government owns it. You didn’t build that! The government built that. That’s not YOUR land, you only lease it from the King, and by the way, your property tax is due again…

Harrington said that he will never stop fighting the government on this issue. As reported in CNS News: “When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.” (http://cnsnews.com/news/article/oregon-man-sentenced-30-days-jail-col…)

If states claim they own the rain, they may soon claim to own the sunlight, too

Rainwater, it turns out, isn’t the only thing that falls on your land. Sunlight also falls on your land. Air resides above it, and minerals below it.

If the state of Oregon already claims to own all the water that falls on your land, what’s to stop them from claiming ownership over all the sunlight, too? Imagine a day when the state erects solar panels on your land, but the electricity isn’t yours to keep. You still have to pay for it, because the sunlight belongs to the state, get it?

If you erect your own solar panels on your own land, the state could then arrest you and charge you with “stealing” state property. All those photons, you see, belong to the state. Once the state declares sunlight to be “community property,” you instantly become a criminal for having solar panels on your house.

State of Oregon declares war on permaculture and sustainable living

Collecting rainwater — and sunlight — are practices taught in sustainable living, permaculture and throughout the green movement. Rainwater capture using ponds and swales is one of the most important strategies for restoring a local landscape. See a good video overview of this here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keXhHMmA2Xk

These rainwater capture practices help trees grow more quickly and accelerate the return of animal life to any region. They can even be used to restore a desert to a lush, food-producing forest. Watch these remarkable videos with Geoff Lawton:

Read More:

 http://www.infowars.com/oregon-criminalizes-permaculture-claims-state-ownership-over-all-rainwater-ponds-and-swales-restricted-jail-time-for-violators/

 

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House passes bill to freeze major new federal regulations

Federal gov & land grabs, Over-regulations

   http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/washingtonbureau/2012/07/26/house-passes-bill-to-freeze-major-new.html    

PNP comment: Don’t we wish !!! — Editor Liz Bowen  

The Business Journals

 by Kent Hoover, Washington Bureau Chief

Date: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 5:41pm EDT

                    

             

             

Washington Bureau Chief

Imagine what it would be like if federal agencies were barred from issuing any major regulations until the unemployment rate falls below 6 percent.

That would be a dream, say many business groups. A nightmare, respond environmentalists and public-interest groups.

Well, that’s just what the House passed today, in the form of the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act (H.R. 4078). The bill, which passed on a 245-172 vote, also would prevent new rules from being issued by a lame-duck presidential administration in the period between Election Day and the inauguration of a new president.

The bill, however, is just a fantasy — it won’t become law, because the Senate won’t pass it, and President Barack Obama would veto it even if the Senate did pass it.

That doesn’t mean House Republicans will stop pushing regulatory relief, however.

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s inaction … won’t stop us from continuing our robust pro-business agenda, because the private sector builds businesses and creates jobs, not the government,” said Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., who chairs the House Small Business Committee.

The National Federation of Independent Business appreciates the effort.

“As the economy continues to sputter it is important to ensure that the nation’s biggest job creators are not strapped with punishing new rules,” said Susan Eckerly, NFIB’s senior vice president for federal public policy.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, on the other hand, was appalled by the House vote.

“This bill is a sad attempt to block virtually all manner of health, safety, economic and environmental protections for the foreseeable future, regardless of what we learn from science or experience,” responded NRDC Legislative Director Scott Slesinger.

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California & Nevada Lumber Association oppose new lumber tax

Forestry & USFS, State gov

Comment by Dawn Wildman: Jerry Brown is considering imposing a new tax on lumber as part of the budget. The tax will be paid by all of us when we buy lumber, will kill construction jobs and raise the price of building new homes and businesses.  California’s lumber industry is already overregulated, and this new tax will make the problem even worse. 

 

It is important for folks in Orange County and San Diego to communicate to Senator Harman and Senator Wyland respectively that a new tax should not be justified to pay for the over regulation of the timber industry.  We don’t need more regulation and taxes, we need jobs!

Please ask folks to forward me a copy of their emails at Eric@Coalitionofenergyusers.org so I can keep track of the emails being sent.  Because the budget is under consideration now, it’s important for folks to get in communication with the senators as soon as possible.

Senator Harman can be emailed at this form on his website:  http://cssrc.us/web/35/contact_us.aspx  or at senator.harman@sen.ca.gov

Senator Wyland can be emailed at this form on his website:  http://cssrc.us/web/38/contact_me.aspx or at senator.wyland@senate.ca.gov

 LUMBER ASSOCIATION OF CALIFORNIA & NEVADA

177 Parkshore Drive, Folsom, CA, 59630

916/235-7490

Contact: Ken Dunham, Executive Director kend@lumberassociation.org

LACN opposes additional lumber tax

The Lumber Association of California & Nevada (LACN) Board of Directors has taken a position to oppose a proposal in the governor’s May Revision State Budget that would apply an additional tax on the retail sale of lumber in California.

The following points are made by LACN:

1. The shifting of paying for governmental regulatory processes by selective fees and taxes is an inappropriate and deceitful way for the state to avoid accountability to produce a balanced budget and operate within its means.

2. In this instance, in which the regulatory activities related to reviewing and monitoring timber harvest plans would be funded through this fee, the state agencies involved will not and cannot accurately determine the costs of their programs. The state agencies involved in the review of timber harvest plans are often duplicative, inefficient and subjective.

3. The state proposes to simply collect an arbitrary tax on selected products without knowing how much revenue will be generated and with no process of sunsetting the tax if the estimated programs costs are attained.

4. The State of California has no valid data on how much such a tax would produce. The Board of Equalization has no means to break out lumber sales from other products commonly sold at retail lumber yards and similar businesses.

5. Collecting an additional tax at the point of sale requires, at the least, a significant and costly reconfiguration of computer based programs that monitor sales taxes.

6. The proposal does not clearly state what type of lumber products would be included or excluded, adding to the confusion and unfairness of the process.

7. This proposal will encourage builders and other buyers of lumber products to make those purchases out of state, further adversely affecting the state’s economy.

8. This proposal is yet another example of the dysfunctional state government’s efforts to operate programs and agencies that go far beyond a reasonable level of providing for the public good and benefit.

The greater issue

This issue is one of the best examples of the worst of state policy. The change in state law in 1973 that added significantly to the regulation of timber harvest accelerated the process of a decline in California’s timber industry and put this state’s timber industry at a significant disadvantage to surrounding states. It is regrettable that this renewable, environmentally beneficial and economically valuable resource has been trapped in a combination of regulatory and political actions with a state bureaucracy that has increased significantly over the years with little to show for it other than enlarged state agencies, at times at odds with each other in their regulatory processes.

In this instance the state agencies involved in Timber Harvest Plan review and regulation cannot, or will not, clearly determine the costs of their regulatory processes. That is unacceptable. Secondarily, the issue of these same state agencies at times with overlapping, duplicative and even contradictory actions is equally unacceptable.

LACN urges this state budget proposal of funding such state agencies from an additional lumber tax be excluded from the budget discussion until accurate, equitable and justifiable costs of those agencies are determined.

The consideration of an additional tax to be passed on to the consumer at the retail level is contrary to current state policy of regulatory costs being assessed to the responsible parties or those being regulated.

In the discussion of passing on an additional tax to the public through a lumber tax, there is no determination of how much the new tax will generate. There are no verifiable figures on the amount of lumber sold in California, only rough models conjecturing at sales volume. This proposal pulls a percentage “out of the air” and hopes it will generate what the agencies claim is needed to fund their programs. What if the revenue is not what is anticipated? What if more than the agencies’ cost estimates are produced?

Prior to any consideration of such a tax, there must be accurate and verifiable figures on the amount of revenue to be generated.

Even the attempt to impose an additional tax on retail lumber sales is not without an increase in bureaucracy; this time from the State Board of Equalization which must determine a means to accurately and efficiently assess and collect the tax. That, too, will be an added cost of state government.

In the discussion to date, there has been no consideration of the effect of such a tax on the retail sale of lumber coming in from other states. Lumber is sold directly to end users by out-of-state firms, effectively avoiding even the state’s current sales taxes. The challenge to the state’s timber producers from out-of-state production is cited as one of the reasons for this current proposal. It is ironic that this out-of-state issue will now be passed on to the retail level.

LACN is deeply aware of the challenges faced by the state’s timber industry and has consistently added its support to legislative and regulatory proposals to increase, protect and advance this critical and historical state industry. We agree on the issues; we disagree with the timber producers on how the regulations should be funded.

The economic impact to California

In data prepared in May 2012, by the California Forestry Association, it is noted “In the past ten years, 27 wood products manufacturers have closed, leaving 36 currently in operation statewide.”

At the retail end of the industry, a total of 71 California retail lumberyards have closed their doors since 2008. (Data compiled by ProSales magazine). The most recent closure, on June 2, 2012, is Hoyt Lumber, an Upland, California, business with roots back to 1929. Fourteen employees lost their jobs in this small community.

In many instances, the closed lumberyards and businesses were among the oldest and most established businesses in their communities. With the closures went several thousand local jobs and significant impacts to local and state economies. Generally, the affected businesses were family-owned.

This proposal of an additional lumber tax will increase the costs of construction, both residential and commercial, as retailers pass it on to consumers.

Dawn Wildman

619-606-0337
President

dawn@californiateapartygroups.org
SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition Inc
www.socaltaxrevoltcoalition.org
CA Co-Coordinator Tea Party Groups
www.Californiateapartygroups.org

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