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California Bill Would Delay Cap and Trade Transportation Fuel Permits

A California assemblyman has introduced a bill that would delay part of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction program for at least three years. Under the bill, energy companies would be able to put off purchasing “transportation fuel pollution” permits.

The state’s “cap and trade” program requires energy companies to buy permits for greenhouse gas pollutants they emit above the state limit. Democratic Assemblyman Henry Perea of Fresno says the cost of the transportation fuel permits will likely be passed on to consumers and his bill would give them time to adjust.

“It’s going to be important for my constituents to know what this means before Jan. 1 when they just see a jump in gas prices, which some have estimated up to 15 cents per gallon,” says Perea.

But Bill Magavern with the Coalition for Clean Air says consumers shouldn’t have to pay for the oil industries’ emissions.

“It’s up to oil companies what they charge at the pump,” says Magavern. “I think they should pay to reduce pollution by taking it out of their enormous profits.”

The California Air Resources Board says transportation fuel permits under cap and trade are crucial to the success of the state’s greenhouse gas reduction plan.

The bill is now awaiting action in the Senate.

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