By Julie Cart : CalMatters – excerpt
An irritated chairman of a state Senate Budget subcommittee says he intends to thwart a recent move by the state Air Resources Board that could give California’s biggest polluters a cushion of more than $300 million.
In a sharp rebuke of the board, Sen. Bob Wieckowski said Thursday that he’ll insert language into next year’s budget bill instructing regulators to reduce the free compensation they’re giving oil refineries and other industries covered under cap and trade, California’s signature climate policy.
Addressing a hearing, the Fremont Democrat read aloud from last week’s CALmatters story detailing the air board’s July meeting, where it unanimously voted to consider abandoning a scheduled reduction in free pollution allowances given to state industries—against the advice of its own staff and outside experts.
The board’s move came on the heels of a much-celebrated deal the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown struck to pass legislation extending the state’s cap-and-trade program to the year 2030. The bill’s author acknowledged that the fight to get a two-thirds vote required a number of deals—and that the air board’s later move was one of them.
When do the California citizens get to vote come in on these tax deals that will raise the costs of transporting necessary products such as food. Now they want to tax our water? What next? A tax on all citizens who live in the state? A tax to come in and out of the state for releasing carbon dioxide into the air when we breathe?
The attempt to recall Democratic Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, backed by a consortium of voters critical of Newman’s vote this year to raise the gasoline tax, raised the necessary signatures, but, is being threatened by a new bill being formulated to stop it. These are the same people who are removing local rights to determine how our cities and towns are developed by imposing state levels.