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Bill To End “Hidden Gas Tax” Fails

Sacramento, CA — Some California lawmakers had hoped to eliminate fuels from the “cap and trade” program.

However, AB 23, the Affordable Gas for California Families Act, was voted down this week, 6-3, in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. Fuels were added to the cap and trade program at the beginning of the year, and the state has estimated that it equates to roughly a 10-cent increase at the pumps. Many Republicans have referred to it as the “hidden gas tax.”

The proposed bill to exclude fuels from cap and trade was introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson of Fresno. He claims, “The actions of this committee mean that tax payer funds will continue to be drained from the wallets of Californians at the gas pump to fund programs intended, but not proven, to reduce Green House Gases.”

The cap and trade program puts a limit on the amount of CO2 emissions that an industry can produce, and then issues a certain number of permits that the higher polluters can purchase. It’s a program that has been phased in as part of the AB 32 Global Warming legislation approved back in 2006, designed to reduce the state’s carbon emissions