Environment Forum

Palin asks Schwarzenegger to terminate shipping fees

September 12, 2008

palin3.jpgCalifornia environmentalists are in tizzy this week, accusing Republican Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of telling their governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, how to do his job.

At issue is a letter Palin sent to Schwarzenegger last month, asking him to veto a bill that would raise shipping container fees to pay for pollution-reduction programs at three major California ports.

The letter, which Palin sent to Schwarzenegger a day before she was announced as John McCain’s running mate, began circling on the Web on Thursday.

In it, Palin argues that the fees would hurt Alaskans, who rely heavily on marine cargo to receive goods.

“Shipping costs have increased significantly with the rising price of fuel and these higher costs are quickly passed on to Alaskans,” Palin wrote. “This tax makes the situation worse.”

governor.jpgPalin also argued that the $30 fee per 20-foot container would “harm California by driving port business away.”

California’s three biggest ports — Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland — are responsible for nearly half of the nation’s imports.

“Gov. Palin needs to visit Southern California and understand that we are the tailpipe of the nation, ” said the bill’s author, California State Senator Alan Lowenthal. “By getting cheap goods from Asia to Alaska, we are subsidizing Alaskans with our health.” 

Environmentalists also countered the letter swiftly, saying the bill was critical to reducing the number of pollution-related deaths in California.

“We’re counting on the governor to stand up for California and not out-of-state interests,” Martin Schlageter, campaign director for California air quality group the Coalition for Clean Air, said of the letter.

The bill has received the approval of the California legislature, but the Governor himself has yet to sign it or comment on his plans.

McCain, whose presidential bid Schwarzenegger has endorsed, toured the Los Angeles port area with the California Governor in February of last year. At the time, he called for a nationwide roll-out of California’s low carbon fuel standard.

Comments
20 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Let’s see if I have this right. According to California environmentalists, taxes save lives.

Posted by mndasher | Report as abusive
 

In light of John McCain’s decision to follow the same swiftboating path that he so fervidly denounced in 2004, it is now apparent that the Obama campaign has been too kind by simply suggesting that a McCain-Palin administration would be a continuation of Bush-Cheney.After the scurrilous McCain approved ads lying about Obama’s record, it is clear that John McCain believes that the best way to win the presidency is to lie to the American people and that a McCain-Palin administration would be much worse than the current Bush-Cheney administration.

 

“We’re counting on the governor to stand up for California and not out-of-state interests,” Martin Schlageter, campaign director for California air quality group the Coalition for Clean Air, said of the letter.So this moron says the only people that matter are californians? That is a load of crap. Take a world view that you idiot enviro nuts forget about sometimes.

Posted by Ben | Report as abusive
 

blogs.reuters…Hello everyone, it is a mistake to believe that you can raise fees on things in economic hard times, for the sake of the environmental causes. What will happen is people will avoid the fees by buying overseas and such, which destroys our economy further and we are back to burning wood and coal in our home furnace because of a lack of funds, lack of jobs, lack of a vibrant economy. People start cutting costs and that hurts the environment immediately because we cut back on expenses for environmental causes including donations of time and money, just look around in your own home town. Law of Diminishing Returns.

Posted by cmcm | Report as abusive
 

First, yes, taxes increase the quality of lives! California has been regulating their own environmental issues for years…this is no different! Second, protecting the environment is a sustainability issue!! not just for those crazy environmentalist – unfortunately, others think it can take a ‘back seat’ as we work on issues that ‘really matter’. Well, this is just poor logic that only results in delaying and creating larger problems! Wake up and pay your taxes!

Posted by jamie | Report as abusive
 

I can believe it, California is Tax crazy and I continually try and see how taking money from the pockets of californians allows them to get clean air..?Do they not think this cost is not going to effect you and me and poor…?Are they going to go and use this money to go out and buy clean air and have it shipped into Calif…? (of course there will be a $30 tax to bring it in).Governer, please veto this bill. Don’t drive the business up to Portland or Seattle to offload cargo. Think of the Jobs that will be lost when the ports loose all that business. Another bad move… I wonder what the Longshoreman think about this move..?

Posted by Calif Tax Victim | Report as abusive
 

A blog on shipping container taxes, Mr. & Mrs. Reader? Come on now. What’s the point of that? The real issue is untruthfulness in the McCain/Palin camp.It looks like Mrs. PALIN is a NOT BEING TRUTHFUL (e.g., “thanks but no thanks” to the $200+ million bridge), who thinks that being disingenuous is just part of being a respected “maverick” politician. I guess that is what the republican party elders told her would be the case when she signed on to the vice presidential gig.Something tells me that she wishes she had in fact “blinked” and not jumped on board the “crooked talk express” as fast as she did. Something also tells me that Wasilla and Juneau are looking better and better to her every day…although…her husband has been subpoenaed back in Alaska. Sometimes it is a good idea to stay home and keep an eye on things.Apparently Mr. McCAIN is also a NOT BEING TRUTHFUL, e.g., so outrageously stating that Mr. Obama is in favor of teaching kindergarteners sex education (just something else to scare easily frightened white people about). When confronted on “The View” about this mighty falsehood by Ms. Behar, he continued to be disingenuous about it…even though the truth stared him right in the face.The line in an old Marlon Brando movie called “The Ugly American” goes something like this: “I believe that you believe that everything you say is true” (or words to that effect). However, in Mr. McCain’s and Mrs. Palin’s case, I believe that they know that everything they say is disingenuous.So…what we’ve got now are TWO UNTRUTHFUL PEOPLE on the SAME TICKET. Even prominent republicans are publicly stating the obvious, i.e., that both Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin are in fact disingenuous, either personally or by way of the republican presidential/vice presidential ticket’s television ads.Let me revise the preceding. Actually, what we’ve got are two disingenuous people who profess to be adherents to “God’s plan”.”8. Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbor” must mean something different to these two Christians than it does to other Christians. Well, they can always “turn over a new leaf” after lying their way into the presidency and vice presidency, I guess.This is what happens when the hole gets so deep that the hole diggers can’t get out on their own. So, what do they do? Why, they keep on digging, i.e., lying. Pretty soon, not even the republican party will have a rope long enough to reach down far enough to pull Mrs. Palin and Mr. McCain out of their self-imposed hole.I foresee a political debacle for Mr. McCain come November 4th (although he can always go back to the senate as Mr. Kerry did before him).As for Mrs. Palin…well…I guess she can always go back to Juneau where she may in fact be a venerated matriarch. Or if worse comes to worse, she can head on back to her waterfront home in Wasilla, where she once talked about violating the First Amendment freedom of speech (e.g., book banning), while at the same time defending automatic weapons in the hands of criminals (her version of the Second Amendment). Maybe the PTA doesn’t mind having a liar to look up to. Mrs. Palin seems to think that sparsely populated Alaska is pretty much the same as any other state in the lower 48, i.e., basically the same diversity and value systems.Of course, there is one other possible outcome to all of this. Many frightened white voters may be so scared of having a half-white president, that they will wimp out and vote for the McCain/Palin ticket anyway…just as they have fearfully wimped out and voted for the Bush/Cheney ticket for the last eight years.What was it that somebody once said about why so many frightened white voters continued voting Bush/Cheney in? Well, apparently having ignoramuses in the White House made them feel comfortable with themselves.Having a smart person like Al Gore or John Kerry (both democrats) in the White House is apparently more frightening to many white voters than mass murderers Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri (assuming these white voters even know who al-Zawahiri is or even how to spell his murderous, bloodstained name).Let’s just hope that there are enough new voters (especially young people) who are ready to throw off the yoke of false self-righteousness and hypocrisy…and let the sunshine and fresh air into the White House and Capitol Hill congressional offices presently full of lobbyists…which may in turn put the Supreme Court on notice as well.One closing remark…I got a real kick out of Mrs. Palin saying (practically in the same breath) to Mr. Gibson that she hired an influential lobbyist (former congressional staffer) to get federal pork for Wasilla, but that federal pork gotten by lobbyists is the kind of pork she thinks is the wrong kind of pork? Huh?OK Jack

 

The opponents of these fees like to mock the idea that a pollution reduction program can save lives, when in fact reducing diesel emissions from our nation’s ports should be a national priority.It is a fact that the air quality around our nations large ports is degraded by diesal particulates, and that this pollution leads to a higher incidence of asthma and other lung diseases among those who live near the ports. These particulates are released from poorly maintained trucks and ships burning high sulfur “bunker fuel” while moored in ports.Funding these programs using shipping fees is appropriate and economically efficient, especially when our alternatives are to take money from other California programs or do nothing. While some business will be driven to other ports, such as Seattle and Tacoma, California’s ports have other advantages and will be able to support the added costs. These other ports will also eventually need to address the public health costs of diesel pollution.

Posted by John in West Oakland | Report as abusive
 

Palin is the worst person when it comes to environment. Remember what she said about global warming? She has the same position with Bush when it comes to environment issues.Look, California has been hit with wild fires as a result of global warming. This has force the governor to act but Palin selfishness can’t be well revealing than at this point. She only care about her re-election in Alaska than preventing a menacing global crisis.And this is the nominee of vice president of USA my foot?

Posted by Gideon | Report as abusive
 

californians always amase me by think ing stupid. if you think that more money taken from you or the state will help the eniviorment your all nuts. sure send all the shipping to oreogon and send our jobs to someone else. boy that would be just like the liberals that run this crummy state.

 

This year, each Alaskan is getting a check for more than $2000 based on royalty fees that oil companies pay to the state of Alaska. Note that these royalties are DEDUCTED from the oil companies Federal Tax obligation…meaning our Federal taxes go directly to individuals in Alaska. it also means that Alaska gets rich while oil prices and fuel prices go up for us in the lower 49. I’m not opposed to this, because Alaskans are dealing with the brunt of oil extraction that occurs in Alaska. Why is Gov. Palin asserting that California does not have the same rights when it comes to our ports?

Posted by Rahul Iyer | Report as abusive
 

To Calif Tax Victim, mndasher, etcYou do not know how idiotic and simplistic you sound. Taxes don’t allow people to get air, but if well used can fund actions that can help bringing pollution under control while still allowing economic activity.They can be used to better, for instance,1) educate people to reduce pollution causing activities (like the benefit of CFLs over incandescent bulbs)2) research ways and technologies to reduce pollution (catalysts, filtering technologies like in coal plants, etc)3) enforce better pollution control on those polluting (like some industries) the environment YOU live inif you want to live in a place where all these are not done, why don’t you go live in smog filled communist chinese industrial city. They don’t have taxes too.You don’t want to pay taxes? Go to communist cuba, they don’t have taxes, nor roads, nor anything else for that matter. Go there, start plowing, cos’s thats the biggest industry they have, agriculture.If you care at all, think about how you can help better use of taxes, not whining against taxes!-One who has seen and lived in America and the third world

Posted by Shawn | Report as abusive
 

Arnold best tow the line like a good Republican!!!

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive
 

Ameicans will never (as a group) voluntarily act to improve the common good. The only way to change things is through laws and taxes. I’m old enough to remember some terrible pollution in the US, and hope progress toward clean air and water continue.

Posted by Steve in Austin | Report as abusive
 

Given that the McCain/Palin ticket seems to be getting increasingly antienvironment, I wonder if secretly Schwarzeneggar will be slipping his ballot into the other box. With the addition of Palin, I’m surprised that he is still supporting McCain. In the primaries, McCain seemed to be willing to help save us from self-destruction, but he has certainly changed his tune.

 

Perhaps Ms Palin should reduce the fees Alaska gets on Oil to save the rest of of some money.

Posted by TBIAGIONI | Report as abusive
 

You know, other priorities prevent me solar powering my home. I would love to be engaged in the greenization of America. Taxes imply higher priced goods, which are reflected at the checkout. Lack of money (worsened by taxes), along with the prohibitive price of solar photovoltaics and inverter/grid tie schemes, prevents me from doing it.Let us get a bill to Congress that allows us, as consumers, to earn credit for every kilowatt hour we supply to the national grid, regardless of where it is injected. Next, have the federal government use scrub land in sunshiny states like Arizonan, New Mexico and Texas and allow American investors (by Social Security Number or business tax ID, shall we say; inheritable but not otherwise transferrable or refundable) to invest in the program.Whatever fraction of the program an American pays for is reflected in a fraction of the energy the solar photovoltaics supply provides to the national grid. As Americans supply National Solar Photovoltaics with guilt money, spare change, bingo winnings, tax refunds/rebates or what have you, the Federal Government buys more photovoltaic panels and enhances grid tie inversion facilities. Government procurement professionals have great experience using economies of scale to bring unit prices far below what the individual consumer might pay.The Federal Government owns a prodigious number of square miles of America’s desert southwest. Might we not build photovoltaic roofs over highways that are already carved into the countryside?Yes, it only supplies power during sunny days. No, the individual consumer does not have to worry about, “How the Hell do I get solar on my roof, engineer an inverter that will convert DC (Direct Current – like a battery) power to AC (Alternating Current – used on the national power grid) and make a tie to the grid?”Last century, we had a Work Projects Administration that harnessed American labor to build highways, roads, buildings and probably hydroelectric dams. Marking the new millennium (who cares if we are a bit late), America should offload the engineering, logistics and location difficulties (some Americans live in Alaska, North of the Arctic Circle, ferchrissakes) from the individual to the Department of Energy.America did this for hydroelectric. America needs to stop waiting for scientists to eke out another tenth of a percent of efficiency from photovoltaics and get a National Solar Photovoltaics program started NOW!Points:1) Legislation requiring power companies to accept credit regardless of where power is injected into the grid.2) Federal Government, perhaps the Western Area Power Authority, needs to address location and engineering of the program.3) WE THE PEOPLE can invest as much or little as we want, but we only get power credit based upon the fraction we invest in comparison to the total investment.4) Science needs to advance in the area of power storage in order to allow us to use at night the electricity generated during sunlight hours.5) Alaska and Hawaii present problems, as they stand isolated from the rest of our national grid.6) Flesh out the details of how to trade power for infrastructure support (wages and materials).I would dearly love to be among the first generation of Americans who invested sufficient funds into the program to support my retirement solely on energy credits.We energy consumers are the problem. We need to guide our leaders toward a ‘universally,’ or at least generally, acceptable solution.

Posted by Shawn Hendricks | Report as abusive
 

It is okay for Governor Palin to push through windfall oil profits tax on Alaskan oil producers. Did you know that Alaska residents are getting their cut? Starting this week, every Alaskan who has lived in the state more than a year will receive $1,200 from the state, a total of about $756 million in rebates to offset high energy costs in the 49th state. That’s on top of the perennial check each will receive from the state’s oil revenue-endowed Permanent Fund, this year a record $2,069 per resident. The large Palin family is eligible to receive more than $19,000 from the combined payments.So, it is okay for Palin to tax oil, adding to the already high cost of fuel for the rest of us. But it is not okay for California to tax cargo through its ports adding to the costs of goods for all of us including Alaskans. This does not sound like a person that is “small town, just like us.”Before this election is over with McCain may find Palin as an albatross around his neck. It looks like she is not as goody two shoes with high values she wants us to believe.

Posted by Robert Odendahl | Report as abusive
 

Typical, we Caulifawnians are again being fleeced by the Terminator. They keep screwing with our ports to make the south of the border ports look more and more economically desirable. More jobs will go leave the Golden state.Keep taxing and fleecing us into prosperity. You guys in Sacramento already screwed over a deal with Toyota to build hybrids here because of this nonsense.This is all a fraud. Just look at our freeways and bankrupt cities!

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive
 

I hope that people realize the seriousness of this election. I hope that they can see through the spin that the religious right backed McCain campaign is putting out. Our future as a country is at stake, dear people. Do you want the bible literalists guiding this world into their version of “end times”?consider this: Palin is pro-life and yet she is pro-guns. Does that make logical sense? Guns can be used to kill; if one is pro-life does it make sense to be in favor of guns?

 

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