SACRAMENTO – Today, State Assemblymember Randy Voepel (Santee) released the following statement opposing Governor Brown’s proposed extension of California’s cap-and-trade program:
“I will be voting no on any extension of cap-and-trade. The proposals currently under discussion only lead to additional tax increases on California drivers and families.
The winners of cap-and-trade have been the coastal elites who are willing to “go green” at any cost because they can afford it. The losers are the millions of working poor Californians and struggling middle class families who have to carry the burden of higher gasoline and energy costs. Meanwhile, the proposed extension of cap-and-trade will further increase gas prices by an estimated 45 to 90 cents per gallon — on top of the fuel tax increase the legislature implemented earlier this year.
Furthermore, the cap-and-trade program has provided significant funding for Jerry Brown’s high-speed rail boondoggle. There is nothing written into the extension to ensure cap-and-trade revenues don’t continue to fund high-speed rail. It isn’t fair to ask struggling Californians to continue shouldering the cost for a train to nowhere.
I am also concerned by the process being utilized to push this legislation through. Governor Brown released his plan on July 10th. This legislation will likely come up for a vote on Monday, ensuring only a week of review and consideration. This is despite the fact that the bill will have a multi-billion dollar impact on California businesses and families.
Rather than extending a failed program, the legislature should focus on reforming our environmental regulation system from the ground up. Our current burdensome regulatory regime hurts small businesses, farmers, working families, and the middle class. By extending cap-and-trade, we’re only making the problem worse, ensuring more businesses flee California for other states.
Please be assured I will continue to oppose policies and legislation that further make our state more unaffordable.”
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