by Jack Lee
Select committee members for the new State met yesterday with local businessmen, including a trucking company owner that is facing the prospect of going out of business if the CARB rules become anymore stringent. The committee heard that CARB is providing cash assistance to large trucking companies to meet the new smog compliance rules while small NorCal trucking companies are told to fend for themselves. CSUC Business Professor Angela Casler was at today’s meeting and she said the government incentives to update engines aren’t available to north-state business because of the guidelines. They have no choice but pay, shut down or leave.
Casler, ran a trucking company for five years and she said the new air emissions regulations actually create pollution. Elements of the approved equipment, such as filters, come from China and Canada because they can’t be made in the U.S. Tony Hobbs of Baker Trucking in Willows recently complained to the ER that emission filter problems have cost thousands of dollars in just down time and extra expenses.
Hobbs owns 30 trucks and employs 25 people. The filters on his trucks seem to give out after only a few thousand miles. In the 98 days the truck had been idled, either from the filter failure or the repair process, cost him more than $8,000. Hobbs was forced to buy eight new trucks in order to comply. He noted the filters make him use more fuel.” Issues like these are causing many business people to look for an alternative to the rules and regulations coming from Sacramento. Their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. So, when the idea of dividing the State into Northern and Southern California came around it grabbed their attention! Local businesses and voters simply want a sober acting government and this is not Sacramento and there’s no reason to expect it to change.
Later on, the committee members spoke to the Butte County Board of Supervisors and expressed their intent to bring a “Split the State” vote before them in the near future. However, right now the group isn’t ready for a vote. They’re more focused on bringing the idea before the voters and building consensus. Among the key points for Statehood were: CA now ranks highest in taxes and among the worst states for education. CA is so business unfriendly that the largest exodus of jobs in our history is taking place. People want a smaller, less intrusive and more efficient state government.” They feel a new State in NorCal can do better. They’re basically looking for less taxation with more representation.
The group said, “What’s wrong with bringing government closer to the people and addressing issues relevant to the North-state? ” As one speaker noted, “CA is already a divided State. We’re divided by un-equal representation, by different types of economies and even by a major change in voter demographics.”
We hope that when the time comes for Supervisors to vote to create a new State our supporters will pack the house, said Michael Wacker of Chico.