Assemblyman Travis Allen has effectively used a Sunday piece in the Register (here, from our Docs library, side notes here) to speak to Huntington Beach’s proposed plastic bag ban with actual SCIENCE.
From Brian Joseph’s article:
…unlike other critics who have argued that the bans are simply unnecessary, “nanny-state” laws,
Allen says they are far more insidious, hindering water-conservation efforts and exposing Californians to dangerous bacterial, food-borne illnesses. “It seems that there are a lot of well-intentioned politicians that are paying more attention to sound bites than sound science,” said Allen, who describes himself as a lifelong surfer and a conservationist. “To make reusable bags safe from bacteria they need to be washed. You take a typical front-loading washing machine, you’re going to use 27 to 40 gallons of water,” and California needs to spare all the water it can.
Allen represents part of Huntington Beach (it’s split between him and Allan Mansoor), and he’s been vocal about the Plastic Bag Ban the liberal-dominated HB City Council is attempting to pass. From this March 19th Register piece, we know who’s been naughty and nice:
The council was split on the issue with members Dave Sullivan, Matthew Harper and Joe Carchio
voting against the ordinance. Mayor Connie Boardman and council members Joe Shaw, Jill Hardy and Jim Katapodis supported it.
Carchio cited a state law under consideration that would mean a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, saying the city should stay out of it and leave it up to the Legislature to approach the issue on a broader level. “I just think this law is not good for us or good for Huntington Beach,” he said. “We shouldn’t be doing this. Let the state do it.” But other council members said Huntington Beach should act as the example for other cities to follow. “By adopting one in Huntington Beach we’re making it easier for the state to do so,” Mayor Connie Boardman said. “We need to be first as a coastal city to show some leadership.”
We wrote on the Bag Ban last month and pointed out how Boardman and the City Council has been HOSED
out of $25.5k by some local environmentalist weasels: Did Huntington Beach get punked by the Surfrider Foundation? We pointed out in our in this February piece that even the liberal media is beginning to see the danger in this issue from E. Coli — a germ far nastier than even a liberal Democrat.
Assemblyman Allen, who won in an 11-point landslide November last over former Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar, “introduced Assembly Bill 1337, which would not only prohibit the state and local governments from banning plastic bags, but also outlaw any taxes or fees on other kinds of bags if a ban is somehow implemented. The proposal would invalidate California’s local bans, including the one recently approved by Allen’s city, Huntington Beach” per Joseph’s OCR article. There’s no new news on the fate of AB1337 — it’s in the Natural Resources Committee but will face opposition, as Allen predicts, by the Assembly Democrat majority, especially since it make sense and is supported by actual scientific studies — from the OCR piece and Debra Saunders at the San Francisco Chronicle:
A November paper by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University found that deaths from food-borne illnesses in San Francisco rose 46 percent after a plastic bag ban went into effect there in 2007. The researchers found no comparable uptick in other areas and theorized that San Franciscans were getting sick because they carried their food in dirty, reusable bags. “Our results,” wrote researchers Jonathan Klick and Joshua D. Wright, “suggest that the San Francisco ban led to, conservatively, 5.4 annual additional deaths.”
Not without an opinion of course, Joseph quoted the Sierra Club as saying Allen’s bill “is just a waste of time” and, while admitting they “don’t have numbers to back it up,” and dismissed his water-conservation arguments as “absurd.” No facts were offered in support of their argument, and there was no mention of the hazards in introducing dangerous bacteria into our local environment — why would the unwashed treat their cloth bags any differently than themselves?
We also pointed out in a recent piece on the HB Fire Pit controversy that it’s more than hypocritical of the City Council bag banners to, conversely, be crying foul when the AQMD threatens their smoky, carcinogen-spewing fire rings as a community asset and revenue producer rather than an environmental hazard as they claim plastic grocery bags to be. Banning the bags could also have just as negative an economic impact on their merchants as banning the fire rings could have on city parking and retail sales tax revenue. The liberals can’t have it both ways. Common sense would be far more welcome than this hypocrisy, and you’d think that City Council majority has more important things to do than looking as foolish as they do.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to a 4/15 LA Time$ story yesterday on Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima)’s proposal (opposite to Assemblyman Allen’s) for a statewide plastic bag ban: California Senate looks at statewide plastic bag ban. In part,
An initial hearing on SB 405 in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee is set for Wednesday. The proposal, if it becomes law, would supersede roughly 70 local plastic bag ordinances, such as those in Los Angeles County and the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Pasadena and West Hollywood. “It is time for a statewide single-use plastic bag ban in California,” Padilla said at a Capitol news conference.
UPDATE (4/16): Headlined in today’s FlashReport, here’s a great You Tube video from an industry group that amplifies on the foolishness: The Inconvenient Truth Behind Efforts to Ban Plastic Bags. Editor Fleischman also links to another story on foot-in-mouth Democrat Padilla: CA Dem Admits Plastic Bag Tax Proposal Designed to Hurt Consumers.
With the Democrats holding majorities on both sides of the Legislature, it’s fairly obvious whose bill will see the floor, and whose won’t.
UPDATE (4/18): The evidence keeps building on why a Bag Ban is plain idiotic. Great post today on Steve Frank’s California Political News and Views site: Democrats Waste to Harm Environment/Waste Money With Paper Bags.