Cap and trade tax revolt

Let me know how silly this ad seems to you.



This ad by a group calling themselves the California Drivers’ Alliance is getting plenty of airplay. Although the group vaguely brags that they’re “a nonpartisan movement of motorists, small businesses, fuel providers and consumers,” they receive most of their funding from California’s oil industry, which has created a number of fake astroturf advocacy groups like this to fight the cap and trade program tooth and nail.

The non-partisan part may be correct: The Western States Petroleum Association in Sacramento are the biggest spenders in the state capitol and that spending has bought them plenty of influence. 30% of the Democratic Caucus in the California Assembly have signed a letter asking the California Air Resources Board to delay or redesign the cap and trade program because of its impact on their largest donors on the poor who can’t afford to drive when gas jumps to nearly $5 a gallon when big oil profits decline by 16 cents to 76 cents per gallon and the dollars go to improving air quality and transportation choices for all Californians. Sorry about the fractured text here; I realize all of this self serving doublespeak disguised as concern for the working man can be confusing.

Democratic Assemblymember Henry Perea of Fresno has been the biggest cheerleader on behalf of his oil industry sponsors in fighting against cap-and-trade taxes. Late last year, Perea accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from Chevron, the Western States Petroleum Association, and Aera Energy LLC, an oil exploration and production company in Bakersfield jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil. Perea — who last month introduced AB 69 to delay cap-and-trade and represents a district with the worst air pollution in the nation — has received nearly $74,000 from the oil industry over his legislative career. The air pollution in Fresno is so bad the local roller derby team call themselves the “Smog City Roller Rebels,” and Fresno has the highest rate of asthma in the state of California.

Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer hasn’t paid me a dime to link to his blog post arguing in favor of cleaner air for people. The oil companies fighting these cap-and-trade efforts couldn’t care less about the poor who are more likely than most to suffer from the environmental degradation caused by their products.

AB 69 is a classic gut and amend bill that began life as a bill to address water quality. The current version is currently in the Assembly Rules Committee, where it awaits assignment to its appropriate committee. Besides Perea, co-sponsors Brown, Daly, Hall, Roger Hernández, Rodriguez, and Salas in the Assembly; and Correa and Torres in the Senate have affixed their name to this dubious bill to let their constituents know how much they hate their children.

One comment

  • Pete
    August 13, 2014 - 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Typical American whining about the (relatively low due to being subsidized) price of gas and a tax that should have been indexed to inflation long ago but no politician has the guts to raise.

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