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By Tim Hunt

Heated battle likely over climate change legislation

Uploaded: Sep 1, 2015

The battle in Sacramento likely will be heated over Senate Bill 350, the very aggressive climate change bill being pushed by Senate leader Kevin de Leon and Governor Brown.
The bill would cut by 50 percent the amount of petroleum used by cars and trucks over the next 15 years as well as cutting so-called "greenhouse gas emissions" to 80 percent below 1990 levels over the next 35 years.
Naturally, the oil industry has mounted a sharp attack against the legislation, running ads that talk of rationing gasoline to ensure the state meets the goals. De Leon has labeled the ads scare tactics—I wish they were.
Consider what the state and regional air boards have done—with no Legislative ability to rein them in. The state air board extended the cap-and-trade tax to gasoline this year when the legislative leaders would not even grant a hearing to representatives of poorer communities who woke up to how much their constituents were going to suffer with the regulation.
There's considerable irony that while de Leon and the governor push this expensive climate change legislation, there is a concurrent special session to deal with what the governor believes is a shortfall in funding for maintenance of the state's roads. That the roads are in horrible shape goes without saying—that the state has enough money to allocate well (as Republican legislators including Baker pointed out) likely is conveniently ignored by legislators.
CalTrans continues to be model of inefficiency with way too much money going to environmental checks and other regulations instead of maintaining roads or expanding them.
Giving regulators unlimited authority to meet goals is an open invitation to please radical environmentalist living in coastal communities while putting the costs on average Californians. Remember what the federal Environmental Protection Agency has done under President Obama
Fortunately, there are some moderate members in the Assembly who we hope have the cuts to stand up to the governor and de Leon.
Incidentally, the Tri-Valley's assemblywoman, Republican Catharine Baker has been targeted by a green energy lobbying group with advertising encouraging her to vote for SB 350. The advertising campaign is a counter punch to the oil industry campaign.
Speaking of campaigns, legislators always seem to have the next one on their mind. With the Legislature now in its final few weeks, the fundraising in the state capitol has heated up. For instance, last Monday there were 21 different fundraisers scheduled, all offering a sponsorship at $4,200 with varying other levels. Baker was among those holding events that day.