California climate bill loses key gasoline provision

Members of the California Assembly have stripped key provisions out of a climate change bill pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D). 

Lawmakers on Wednesday removed Brown’s proposal to cut the state’s gasoline consumption in half by 2030, The Los Angeles Times reports

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Other major provisions pushed by Brown, including a road repair fund and money for public healthcare, were also shot down by lawmakers this week.

“Oil has won the skirmish. But they've lost the bigger battle,” Brown said at a Wednesday press conference. “Because I am more determined than ever.”

Losing the gasoline targets was damaging to Brown’s climate change agenda. He and his legislative allies have pushed a multi-pronged package meant to combat climate change, including a boost to renewable energy production and new energy efficiency standards, both of which are still alive. 

The Legislature is also considering a bill to codify Brown’s aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets into law.

The state Assembly needs to pass all of the bills before the Legislature’s session ends this week. 

The oil industry and business groups had opposed the gasoline provision, warning it would raise prices for consumers and drivers in the state. 

Kevin de León, the state Senate president pro tempore, said those warnings amounted to “silly-season scare tactics” from the industry. 

“In the end — with two days left — we could not cut through the million-dollar smokescreen created by a single special-interest with a singular motive and a bottomless war chest,” he said on Wednesday.