AB 32 fee increase bill dies

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 5, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Last Sunday, January 31st, was the legislative deadline for two-year bills (introduced last year) to be passed from their house of origin. A particularly onerous energy bill, SB 31 (Fran Pavley - D, Agoura Hills) expired.

It would have expanded the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) authority to impose fees under AB 32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.  SB 31 would have given CARB the ability to raise billions more in revenues.

The broad purposes in SB 31 went far beyond CARB’s current limited fee authority under AB 32. It directed CARB to deposit fees and other revenues collected under AB 32 into the Air Pollution Control Fund.  The funds would’ve been used for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly those programs focusing on low-income consumers. It may also have been used for investments in technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including research, development, and demonstration and deployment, especially technologies that provide pollution reduction co-benefits, and green jobs development and training that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

These may be worthy causes, but at what expense? The bill provided no guidance, no limits, and no controls over the amount CARB could raise, or from whom.

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