September 27, 2023
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Our view: Climate regulations would burden small businesses


President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords drew a swift rebuke from Gov. Jerry Brown, who declared the president “wrong on the facts and wrong on the science” before meeting with the president of China to promote Brown’s clean energy agenda.

That the White House remains mum on the idea of climate science means that for the most part Brown has the facts and the science on his side.

He also has a powerful ally in Michael Bloomberg, the media magnate and former New York mayor who has called for an alternative alliance of the nation’s businesses and municipal and state governments to meet the Paris goals.

Many of the nation’s utilities and large agribusinesses and corporations are on board. They have moved toward renewables and away from fossil fuels in the name of efficiency and lower-cost operations.

That wind, solar and even some battery technologies can thrive in a low oil price environment means that these technologies are here to stay. It is likely that the Brown-Bloomberg combination of businesses, states and local governments will lead the U.S. toward its voluntary climate goals over White House objections.

What is missing from the debate is serious talk about ways for smaller companies who do not have the benefit of scale to gain from the transition to clean energy and meet onerous clean air regulations.

What’s also missing is a recognition that for the coming decades a huge gain in greenhouse gas reduction will come from the shale revolution and the substitution of cleaner-burning natural gas for coal in power production. Also missing is the role that shale and alternative energy will play in making the U.S. the swing producer in an oil market where global demand is in a secular decline.

Increasingly, the view from businesses across a wide political spectrum is that the White House would be better off to put aside the drama and get to the hard work of tax reform, Dodd-Frank revisions and aforementioned breaks on environmental rules.

Disappointing small business starts and job growth numbers in the pre- and post- recession years are still the most vexing problem for the economy — and a big cause of economic inequality.


Someday, probably fairly soon, someone will invent an app that adds a three-digit area code to all the numbers saved in your iPhone.

That will be necessary for 805 area code users who will soon have to dial 10 numbers to reach a local connection. A recent California Public Utilities Commission ruling means that there will be a new “820” area code that will overlay the current 805 territory, effectively operating as a second area code for the Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo area that also includes small portions of Kern and Monterey counties.

We’ll all have about a year before the new 10-digit dialing rules become mandatory; the new “820” numbers will become available beginning next June.

The “805” area code was born in 1957, when it was split off from the “213” Los Angeles area code. The modern “805” era began in 1999 when Kern County was broken off into area code “661.”