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.
Tea party members in California spent Tax Day trying to send a message to the government.
After three years of bitter disputes, there appears to be a deal in the California legislature on a bill that would make it easier for school districts to fire teachers accused of abusing students. But not all education groups are on board.
A new Field Poll finds that Californians continue to have a very low opinion of the U.S. Congress.
A new study says students at California’s Community Colleges are achieving many of their academic goals. But Community College officials say they’ll be recovering from the drastic cuts during the Great Recession for years to come.
Money generated from California’s cap-and-trade program would go to mass transit, sustainable affordable housing and high speed rail under a proposal by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg. Steinberg is backtracking from his previous proposal.