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  • Archive for September 24th, 2010

    Sep 24

    CA ADOPTS NATION’S MOST AGGRESSIVE GREEN ENERGY REGS

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    The California Air Resources Board also has unanimously adopted the nation’s toughest “green energy” policy – known as the “Renewable Energy Standard” — that requires one-third of electricity sold in California to come from clean, renewable sources by 2020.  In 2009, the Governor signed an Executive Order directing the Board to adopt these rules.  The regulations place the highest priority on renewable resources that will provide the greatest environmental benefits that can be developed quickly and support reliable, efficient and cost-effective electricity system operations including resources and facilities located in California and throughout the Western Interconnection.

    Although our industry has expressed a great concern about the impact of these regulations on the cost of energy, the ARB action is preferable to legislative attempts to put the standard into statute.  Last year a bill was vetoed, and this year one died on the final night of session, that would have not only increased the cost of energy, but would have put rules in place that would have provided a disincentive for importation of such energy from other states, driving the costs even higher.

    Click here for a news story on California’s new energy policy.

    Sep 24

    AIR BOARD ADOPTS TOUGH REGIONAL EMMISIONS TARGETS

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    As part of implementing the nation’s first law that connects land use to greenhouse gas emissions (SB 375), the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted regional targets strongly supported by environmental groups meant to reduce GHG emissions from vehicle miles traveled (VMT).  The business community expressed concern that the targets were too aggressive and asked the board to adopt more reasonable goals of 2% reduction by 2010 and 5% reduction by 2030, instead of the “stretch” goals recommended in the ARB staff report.

    Final action was unanimous and the following targets were set for the major metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) for the years 2020 and 2035:

    + Bay Area (MTC /ABAG) = -7% then -15%

    + Southern California (SCAG) = -8% then -13%

    + San Diego (SANDAG) = -7% then -13%

    + Sacramento (SACOG) = -7% then -16%

    + San Joaquin Valley = -5% then -10%

    We have written extensively about SB 375 in the past, and the bill was signed over our industry’s objections in 2008.  Our friends at the Institute for Local Government have put together a short primer on the law. If you are interested in learning more, click here.

    Sep 24

    STILL NO BUDGET – 86 DAYS LATE – “FRAMEWORK” AGREEMENT REACHED?

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    Word leaked out yesterday from the Governor’s office that the state’s longest budget impasse in history may be drawing to a close. “The governor and the leaders have reached a framework of an agreement. We will continue to work through the details over the weekend and hope to come to a final agreement Monday when they reconvene,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear.

    Although the lack of a budget has drawn less than a public uproar, it has had a significant impact on the commercial real estate industry. Many building owners that lease to state entities have not been paid for two or three months; and many contractors that service the buildings are expected to continue to work, even though invoices are not being attended to. 

    We hope this “framework” is indeed a path to a quick close on this budget.  And we hope that the budget they adopt will honestly account for income and spending.