SACRAMENTO - Senator Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado) today issued the following statement regarding his vote against Assembly Bill 398, the extension of California's cap-and-trade program.
"Today marks the start of the next great California recession. A day where the legislature shows utter disregard for the lives of the working people in this state and chooses to impoverish them to fight climate change.
"If we want to shrink our carbon footprint, and think that it's imperative for our continuing prosperity, or even survival, there are ways to do that without putting the burden on the backs of the poor and vulnerable.
"Fuels under the cap-and-trade program already adds $0.11 to every gallon of gas. We just passed a new gas tax that adds $0.12 cents to every gallon, and that number will go up every year after 2021. Now this could add another $0.73 cents to every gallon of gas.
"The rest of the country is paying about $2 dollars a gallon for gas. California motorists are going to be paying $2 dollars just in taxes and in climate change fees soon. This is going to ripple through every area of the economy and wreck small businesses and family budgets.
"We talk a lot about environmental justice in this building, but what about the economic environment? Is there economic justice in pushing through a massive, regressive tax on the poorest people in the state?
"Our clean vehicle rebate money comes from these cap-and-trade funds, so at least we can be sure that the poorest people in the state can keep subsidizing millionaires when they buy their $100,000 Teslas.
"I am going to protect California's poor and working class, not double their fuel costs to possibly make some miniscule difference in the sea level in the year 2200 or to get a pat on the back from global elites."
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Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.