Senate Republicans write Governor to express Cap-and-Trade concerns

By on July 16, 2017
State Senator Mike Morrell

Senator Mike Morrell (R-23rd District-Rancho Cucamonga) and fellow members of the Senate Republican Caucus have written and delivered a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown expressing their concerns with the current efforts to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program through Assembly Bill 398.

The letter cites the need for preserving quality of life for all Californians while providing for the balance and protection of California’s fragile economy — thoughtful policies should reflect this. But Senate Bill 32, adopted last year, mandated a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 with no consideration of the economic side effects.

The letter to Gov. Brown goes onto to cite specific concerns from the members of the Senate Republican Caucus which include:

  • Senate Bill 32, passed last year, mandated a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 with no consideration of the economic side effects. Senate Republicans opposed SB 32 stating it would adversely impact many households and businesses statewide.  The California Chamber of Commerce correctly labeled SB 32 as a job killer.
  • Many of the mechanisms the state’s regulatory agencies have used to reduce carbon emissions have increased costs for consumers and for employers included increased costs in the prices of electricity and transportation fuels.
  • This year’s Senate Bill 1 enacted a gas tax increase of 19 cents per gallon and a significant car tax increase. The cap-and-trade price impacts will be imposed on top of the tax hikes attributable to SB 1. We believe that the proposed cap-and-trade extension combined with the gas tax and car tax hikes will be a crushing blow to California residents and small businesses negatively impacting their quality of life.
  • AB 398 is being rushed to a vote. Given the magnitude of its effect on the price of food, fuel, electricity, manufactured goods, and numerous statewide businesses that are sensitive to price increases in the price of fuel and power, it is astounding that a bill of this import would be rushed through the Legislature so quickly without time for meaningful public discussion and debate.

Of especial concern to the members of the Senate Republican Caucus is the wide latitude being given to the Air Resources Board (ARB) in drafting the regulations which implement AB 398. They Caucus contends that the bill lacks any provision that would give the Legislature the ability to review or modify any of the proposed regulations as they are being prepared including the determination of the floor and ceiling price of the allowances being sold, as well as actual number.

The letter has been signed by Senator Morrell and ten fellow members of the Senate Republican Caucus.