This post comes courtesy of California State Senator Mike Morrell:
With the recent vote by the legislature to extend the Governor’s cap-and-trade proposal, there have been a number of questions about the bill’s merits.
Here are reasons why I opposed AB 398 (E. Garcia, D-Coachella):
- AB 398 will result in higher prices at the gas pump – by as much as 73 cents per gallon. This is a very real cost that families and small businesses across the state will have to bear and it comes on top of the new 19 cent per gallon gas tax the legislature passed this year with SB 1. That is why it was opposed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
- AB 398 was passed in the name of fighting climate change, but this bill did not set any new clean air requirements. It was simply a way for the Governor and the majority party leadership to create a multi-billion-dollar slush fund. Under the cap-and-trade scheme, it is expected that $10.5 billion will continue to go toward funding the Governor’s high-speed rail train – a project that will actually increase carbon emissions, not decrease them.
- During his testimony on AB 398, the Governor contended that without cap-and-trade, “The [Air Resources Board] will regulate…in a way that is not efficient…that will be three to five times more costly,” calling the board’s potential approach an “extensive, massive, intrusive regulatory burden.” In making this case, the Governor and Democratic leaders admit they do not have confidence in their appointed bureaucrats to the Air Resources Board to enact regulations that won’t destroy our state’s economy.Keep in mind that of the 14 members of the Air Resources Board, 12 are appointed by the Governor. The website for the Air Resources Board says these members serve “at the pleasure” of the Governor. If the board took action that was detrimental to our state, couldn’t the current Governor, or any future Governor, remove members and appoint replacements?
- AB 398 would not be needed if the Governor simply had the courage to instruct his own appointed bureaucrats at the Air Resources Board to implement clean air standards in the least costly way possible, but that solution would not have raised billions in new gas taxes for high-speed rail and other big government programs.
Read the full post here.