Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
The old gut-and-amend is back in Sacramento, this time with a major piece of legislation that advances Gov. Newsom’s climate agenda without a true accounting of its impact or price.
With three days remaining on the legislative calendar, AB 2133 — a bill that originally ensured the timely payment of final wages to laid off seasonal employees — will now require statewide greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to at least 55% below the 1990 level by the end of 2030.
The current target on the books is a 40% reduction.
Fittingly, the California Chamber of Commerce at the last minute has labeled AB 2133 a “job killer.” The CalChamber is joined by a coalition of more than 110 organizations from business to ag to oppose AB 2133.
The way this bill is being pushed is part of the problem. With mere hours left in the session, there’s no way to have a full discussion of the proposal. AB 2133 upends the existing public process initiated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
As the CalChamber also points out, meeting this new target by 2030 would require the state to remove an additional 17 million gas-powered vehicles from California roads, according to data developed by CARB.
That’s a full five years ahead of Newsom and CARB’s decree last week to ban new gas-powered car sales in California. And of course, that doesn’t remove existing vehicles that will be driven by California residents who can’t afford an electric car.
The costs to achieve this largely infeasible goal will be laid at the feet of California consumers at the worst time, points out the CalChamber. And it’s being taken with no opportunity for input.
“At a time when Californians are suffering from high prices and the threat of a recession looms, increasing costs is the wrong approach to take,” said CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera in an Aug. 24 statement. “Rushed consideration of this proposal robs everyone of the chance for thoughtful consideration about costs and consequences.”