SACRAMENTO –Today, Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), in partnership with members from both houses, introduced legislation through Assembly Bill (AB) 69, which would delay putting fuels under the cap-and-trade program until January 1, 2018.
“The cap-and-trade system should not be used to raise billions of dollars in new state funds at the expense of consumers who are struggling to get back on their feet after the recession,” said Assemblymember Perea. “In some areas of the state, like the Central Valley, constituents need to drive long distances and they will be disproportionately impacted by rising gas prices.”
Beginning January 1, 2015, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels are going to be subject to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) cap-and-trade program which many experts believe will cause an increase in fuel prices. There are various estimates for how much the price spike will be, but an increase of about fifteen cents per gallon is likely and a much larger jump is possible. Delaying fuels from coming under the cap would allow California consumers to prepare for the potential impacts of higher gas prices.
“Business owners of every size will be seriously impacted by a big jump in gas prices,” said Tracy Rafter, Founding CEO, Los Angeles County Business Federation (LA BizFed). “Meeting the greenhouse gas emissions goal in AB32 does not require the cap-and-trade system to take money from fuel consumers and give it to the State. Before trying to grab another $2 billion out of Californians pockets to put in the state coffers without discussion, let’s take a pause and investigate reasonable alternatives. The State is already benefiting from $1 billion new dollars being paid from companies using the first cap-and-trade implementation that started last year. Let’s let that dust settle before really jamming it to anyone needing to drive their car to work or school, and any company needing to deliver it products.”
“California's small businesses and consumers face significant economic harm from fuel price increases coming January 1, but state officials have done nothing to inform them this is coming,” said John Kabateck, National Federation of Independent Business/CA Executive Director. “A reasonable delay to this policy will give the state time to fully analyze the impacts of bringing fuels under the cap and small businesses and families time to budget for this financial hit.”
“International Warehouse Logistics Association commends Assembly member Henry T. Perea and all the legislators working to delay the new hidden gas tax and protect small businesses and working families,” said Mike Kelton, CEO, Inland Star Distribution in Fresno. “Moving fuels under the cap-and-trade program could stifle the economic recovery in the state and give out-of-state businesses a competitive advantage. While we must work to reduce the consumption and dependency on gasoline and diesel to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions another new gas tax is the wrong way to go about it. The bi-partisan support to delay the new hidden gas tax shows the importance to review the impacts of the policy created by regulators at the Air Resources Board.”
CONTACT: Alicia Isaacs, (916) 224-8488