Do California's Environmental Regulations Harm Business, or Drive Innovation?
Fulton's conclusion? New laws like AB 811 do clean up the environment without putting undue burden on business by giving incentives and creating assessment districts.
Fulton writes, "A smokestack or an HVAC system will be replaced sooner or later - but if the private market is left to its own devices, these new capital investments may be no greener or efficient than the old ones. An aggressive regulation can force technological innovation by requiring that new capital investments, in fact, be greener than old ones. Oftentimes, however, that's not enough because the payback period on green capital investments can be so long. Low-cost financing programs - from the government or water purveyors or electrical utilities - may also be necessary to bridge the gap."