This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the dawn of the modern environmental era. Federal legislation since then has altered the landscape, creating the foundation for decades of environmental progress, and government action spurred the private-sector innovation that has powered historic accomplishments.
On Jan. 1, California became the first state in the nation to require solar panels on all new homes up to three stories high. The unique mandate was approved last year by a state agency, the California Energy Commission.
Meanwhile, just down the street in Sacramento, another agency of the same state government, the Department of Toxic Substances Control, is intent on designating the same solar panels that will be used to comply with the solar-power requirement as “hazardous waste.”
As if the ongoing homelessness crisis isn’t enough, California is facing another emergency—a recycling crisis—and it’s about to get far worse if a department of state government has its way.
California has been a national leader in recycling. Yet recently, recycling facilities for consumer items including bottles, cans, and paper have closed. This is due in part to foreign countries’ decision to stop accepting some of California’s recycled material.
Regrettably, it is also the result of dubious decisions made by some of our own government officials here.