The pages of this blog are filled with the horror stories of carefully negotiated bipartisan supported legislation that gets axed by ideologically-run legislative committees or baldly rewritten by unelected staffers. The fate of AB 222 in 2010 was the latest sorry saga. The outcome of that debacle was so egregious (conversion technologies with any emissions could not be permitted - a condition for which no company could comply) that CalRecycle decided it had no choice but to abide by the spirit of the legislation rather than the letter of the overreaching statute.
They notified a Canadian company, Plasco Energy Group, and their contracting municipal waste authority in Salinas Valley that if they succeeded in surviving the regulatory hurdles, they would qualify under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Based on that assurance, the municipal utility and private enterprise have invested time and considerable resources to meet the environmental requirements.
A new governor and a newly nominated Director of CalRecycle, Caroll Mortensen, expressed their commitment to that legal opinion - until the eve of the final decision on her appointment. Suddenly, and in bad faith, the previous legal opinion was rescinded.
Below is a letter written by Jim Stewart, Chairman of the Bioenergy Producers Association, to Governor Brown recounting the sequence of events and stressing the lack of ethical integrity in the treatment of the parties by CalRecycle. Another detailed technical and legal analysis of this travesty has been published by Michael Theroux on his excellent TeruTalk blog.
"Trust" is rapidly becoming a four-letter punchline for business developers when relying on Sacramento for fair and honest treatment. This could be the blackest mark tarnishing Jerry Brown's legacy as governor - that and the resulting deficit.
May 30, 2012
Office of Governor Jerry Brown