The leader of the California Senate says he’s blocking a bipartisan push to delay an anti-global warming regulation that critics argue will drive up prices at the gas pump.
Under California’s wide-reaching greenhouse gas reduction law, AB 32, the state’s cap-and-trade program will start covering transportation fuels this coming January. But that regulation is drawing some heavy opposition from oil companies and business groups. They point to studies that suggest gasoline producers will simply pass the added cost on to consumers. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office projects an increase of 13-to-20 cents per gallon.
Republicans and even some Democrats have backed legislation that would cancel or delay the expansion of cap-and-trade to transportation fuels. But in a letter to the leading Democrat behind the opposition, Assemblyman Henry Perea, Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg says he will not allow the bill to come up for a committee hearing – thus blocking the bill without a vote. Steinberg writes that while he shares the concern over the cost of reducing carbon emissions, quote: “the cost of doing nothing is much greater.”