Proposed law could cost billions in taxes

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 6, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has introduced AB 638 that gives the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) sweeping new powers to reduce petroleum consumption in California.  

CARB and the CEC would be empowered to develop new regulations to cut petroleum use 15 percent below the 2003 level by 2020 and increase alternative fuel usage 26 percent by 2022.

AB 638 is just the latest version of an old idea that could cost small businesses and consumers billions of dollars.  Similar proposals to force reductions in petroleum consumption have resulted in some ideas of great concern, such as:

  • A new 50 cents-per-gallon gas tax;
  • Pay-at-the-pump auto insurance;
  • A tax on every mile you drive;
  • Punitive price premiums on the purchase of certain new cars and trucks.

Californians already pay the highest combined taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel in the country.  AB 638 could make that gap a lot wider.

AB 638 was passed by the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a strict party-line vote and will next be heard in the Appropriations Committee on May 11.

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