Regulatory Head Wind for Nevada County Economic Development

Assemblyman Brian Dahle, our 1st District Representative seems to grasp the challenge facing economic developers in Nevada County. He writes in a Union Editorial:

California has among the nation’s highest business taxes, the most strict and complex environmental protections and labor laws that don’t just protect workers’ rights but create a constant threat of capricious litigation against employers. Real estate prices are high and that partly reflects the demand created by beautiful scenery and ideal weather, but it’s also painfully expensive and time-consuming to develop property or build anything, artificially inflating costs.

Thanks not least to environmental mandates, we also have electricity rates higher than any other state outside of New England. California’s industrial power rates are fully two-thirds higher than those in Texas. Where would you build an energy-intensive factory?

Clean power is a wonderful thing, but affordable clean power is the goal California needs to pursue, and it’s achievable.

A healthy environment is good for everyone, but California has created mazes of procedures so time-consuming and legalistic that sensible business owners in fast-moving, competitive fields have little choice but to look outside the state to build a factory. Would you gamble your company’s future on the outcome of an environmental group’s lawsuit?

This is the head wind that the ERC faces as it attempts to re-vitalize the local economy and have Nevada County be “recognized as one of the most economically competitive rural counties in the U.S. by 2019.” Not likely in the world we live in today, with the liberal political elites in Sacramento strangling rural economies with feel good legislation.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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1 Response to Regulatory Head Wind for Nevada County Economic Development

  1. Dena says:

    Good luck in your search for clean power. California currently has one operational nuclear power plant out of five (Diablo Canyon). Hydro electric dams are on the hit list, Geo power while good is limited. Natural gas is expensive and carbon producing which will be next when coal is phased out. California currently is dropping out of Arizona coal plants and about the only other source of reliable power is the Palo Verde Nuclear plant in Arizona which was constructed with three reactors and the ability to expand to five. California has a mandate not to buy carbon produced electricity from out of state so I would say the out look for California is a future of brownouts and blackouts. Time of day power plans may become standard as one rate plans will become so costly that doubled power bills will look cheap. There was a reason for the big push to smart meters a few years ago.
    The outlook isn’t good unless California take a real good look at their power infrastructure plans and allows coal and hydro to reman a part of the power mix. I don’t think another nuclear plant will be built in California for a long time so the only way to avoid this future make adjustments within a few months because once the coal plants shut down, they will be hard to restart. It’s possible if this summer is warm, California may be looking at another Enron summer which will cook some sense into Sacramento, especially if they are the first to lose power on a warm summer day.


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