California Republicans breaking with party activists and many of their colleagues in order to support California’s premiere climate change program.
“Serving the people and doing our jobs as legislators by rolling back taxes, cutting regulations and protecting Californians from higher costs,” wrote Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley and Assemblyman Rocky Chavez of Oceanside, two of the eight Republicans who voted for the legislation on Monday.
Some criticized Republicans for supporting the extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions. The newspaper’s editorial board said California Republicans are “so beaten down in the minority that they now confuse surrender with victory.”
Cap and trade could boost gas prices by 24 to 73 cents a gallon by 2031, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.
But Mayes and Chavez argued that the program is preferable to other, more costly regulations that would have been needed to meet the state’s climate goals, which became law last year. The final legislation also included two other Republican goals: the rollback of a fire prevention fee, which has been levied on landowners, and the extension of a tax credit for manufacturers.
“Republicans in California must live with the realities of a deep-blue Democratic state,” they wrote. “This isn’t Washington, D.C., or Kansas. We have to cut taxes and regulations every chance we get.”