Environmental News: Media Center
SACRAMENTO, CA (July 3) – On the eve of America’s Independence Day, a California lawmaker is making a Big Oil-backed move to block the next critical step in slashing emissions under California’s successful clean energy program by trying to get a three-year exemption from the state’s cap on carbon pollution.
Using a procedure known as a “gut and amend,” Assemblyman Henry Perea dropped new text into AB 69 to give the oil industry a three year exemption from the next phase of AB32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act and delay action from Jan. 1, 2015, until Jan. 1, 2018. Transportation emissions account for 40 percent of California’s climate-warming carbon pollution – the single largest source.
Following is a statement by Ann Notthoff, NRDC’s California Advocacy Director:
“The Big Oil companies are at it again, escalating their scare tactics inside and outside the Legislature. The last time the oil companies tried to delay implementation, over 60 percent of the state’s voters said ‘no.’ California’s climate program is already cutting carbon pollution. Providing transportation choices and increasing efficiency is reducing our oil dependence and cuts our transportation fuel costs. California is right to stay the course and the Legislature needs to reject this latest attempt to give the oil companies more freedom to pollute our air, harm our health and threaten our most vulnerable communities.”
In 2010, voters resoundingly rejected Proposition 23 to suspend implementation of AB32. Recent polls have shown Californians overwhelmingly support AB32 and its goal to reduce emissions below 1990 levels by 2020. California’s electric utilities and large industrial facilities are already regulated by the state’s cap-and-trade program and have been buying and trading allowances. The next step is to bring the oil industry into the program.