Evergreen Pulp vs. the Air Resources Board
As some of you might know by now, the State Air Resources Board (ARB) seems to have decided to go full speed ahead with the implementation of AB 32. Several columnists (my December 7 post) have commented on this already. Basically, it puts the future of nearly all California businesses in the hands of the ARB, or so some are saying.
The ARB's first target is companies and drivers that use the older diesel trucks. I can't help but wonder who's next in the line of attack?
Over at Richard Marks' blog, one commenter suggested that, with Evergreen Pulp's sale price going lower and lower, the mill might become affordable enough for that new owner to turn a profit. I had to reply that we don't know whether Evergreen Pulp's recent upgrades will be good enough for the Air Resources Board.
That commenter rightly mentioned that dealing with globally traded commodities, as Evergreen does, is a tough business. But now, not only does Evergreen have to deal with the pitfalls of international markets, they also might need to deal with the whims of a newly empowered ARB.
With the ARB now given what some say are dictatorial powers, only time will tell if Evergreen Pulp will escape further attention from them. I'm skeptical they'll be let to slide, as you might imagine. I'm one of those that believes in the old adage that, once you give the government a hammer, soon everything ends up looking like a nail.