The tax would start at 15 cents a gallon, raising an estimated $3.6 billion dollars a year. Most of the revenue would provide a tax credit for families earning less than $75,000; the rest, to mass transit systems.
Steinberg says California must respond to climate change – and that will sting. “But I am concerned about who we sting,” Steinberg told the Sacramento Press Club Thursday. “I say we return the majority of the money to the people who can least afford to foot the bill and who are already suffering most environmentally from the impact of climate change.”
Steinberg’s proposal drew criticism from environmental advocates. Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), who wrote California’s landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, says a carbon tax would conflict with AB 32’s overall goal of reducing climate change “… because it sends mixed signals to the major emitters – where some now are under a cap required to roll back, other people get a free pass, the motorists pay.”
The oil industry is neutral, but business groups don’t like the proposal. They argue companies and consumers would pay more at the pump. In fact, Steinberg acknowledges gas prices will go up regardless – under cap-and-trade or a carbon tax. “And it may not be popular to say, but that’s necessary. Higher prices discourage demand.”
That prompted this response from Peter DeMarco with the Senate Republican Caucus: “At least now we’re beginning to see a transparent listing of how much AB 32 regulations are gonna cost Californians.”
As for Governor Jerry Brown, his office reiterated his opposition to new taxes this year.
Groundwater supplies are at an all-time low in both the Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins. Management of that dwindling supply was the focus of debate at the state Capitol.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles is setting up guidelines for driverless cars. At a public workshop in Sacramento Tuesday, it took ideas on issues like licensing, safety and privacy
California lawmakers say the state is facing a truancy crisis among elementary school students. Now a package of legislation has been introduced that’s meant to combat the problem.
(AP) -- A proposed bill could bring law and order to the wild west of weed.
California law enforcement agencies, state lawmakers and rights groups say prostitution and human trafficking have been on the rise at massage parlors around the state.