(August 10, 2012) Two California Chamber of Commerce-opposed “job killer” bills that increase energy costs, including fuel prices, on consumers and businesses were placed on suspense files this week pending review of the bills’ fiscal impact.
AB 1532 (J. Pérez; D-Los Angeles) and SB 1572 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) allocate funds from an illegal tax to various programs that are not necessary to cost-effectively implement the market-based trading mechanism under AB 32, the 2006 climate change law.
A third similar bill, SB 535 (De León; D-Los Angeles), awaits action by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
In opposing the bills, the CalChamber has pointed out that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) lacks authority and has been unable to justify the need to raise billions of dollars in revenue for the purposes anticipated in the bills.
ARB’s plan to impose a “cap-and-tax” will hurt jobs, and increase costs to the state and consumers. AB 32 was not intended to be a revenue source. If the state moves forward with a billion-dollar auction, the impacts on the state’s economy would be devastating.
Entities subject to the illegal tax include manufacturers, public agencies, universities, refineries, food processors and others. The impact on these entities will be severe and on top of the higher fuel and energy costs due to other climate change regulations.
Not only is an auction unnecessary for a successful cap-and-trade program, but the planned collection and distribution of auction revenues raises legal uncertainties.
AB 1532, SB 535 and SB 1572 will be considered by the Senate or Assembly Appropriations committees when they meet next and may be voted off the suspense file and sent to the full Senate or Assembly for a vote.