A local academic has emerged as the leading source of dark forecasts in a recession-fueled debate over whether California's war on global warming will hurt or help its economy.
Sanjay Varshney, dean of the business school at California State University, Sacramento, predicts dire consequences if the state moves forward with plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
His figures -- dismissed by some economists -- have been cited by business groups and politicians calling on the state to delay carrying out AB 32, the state's landmark climate change law.
In a July paper paid for by the California Small Business Roundtable, an advocacy group, Varshney reported that trimming emissions would cost the average household $3,857 a year, kill more than 1.1 million jobs and cut the state's economic output by nearly 10 percent.
Costs for food, fuel, electricity and housing would all rise, he predicts, driving a 26 percent drop in discretionary spending, slashing tax revenues and squeezing small businesses.
Those figures, the result of Varshney's first venture into environmental policy analysis, have planted him at one of the poles in the climate change debate.
At the other pole are environmental and green-business groups that predict AB 32 will make California more innovative and efficient, driving economic growth and creating jobs.
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.