Chamber of Commerce Doing Bidding of Big Oil on Climate Change Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce's usual and powerful response to meaningful climate change legislation is to call it a "job killer."
 
In 2006, the Legislature passed groundbreaking AB 32, which aimed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming to 1990s levels by 2020. The Chamber said that it would be a job killer and push businesses out of the state. It lost that battle, and nearly ten years later, the predictions proved false.
 
Fast forward to today, and, once again, the Chamber, whose board is filled with Big Oil executives, has denounced SB 350, which would dramatically reduce California’s reliance on fossil fuels. At an April 7 hearing on the bill, Rancho Cucamonga Republican Mike Morrell, who has accepted thousands of dollars in Big Oil contributions, parroted the “job killer” line.
 
The bill, by Sens. Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, and Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would cut in half the amount of gasoline and diesel used in the state within 15 years, by increasing fuel efficiency, expanding alternative fuels availability and reducing the number of miles driven by Californians.
 
Despite the bill being backed by the Senate president pro tem and falling in line with Gov. Jerry Brown's climate change mandate, the "job killer" label is a major threat to the proposal. Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats take it seriously. According to the Chamber, over the last ten years, 357 bills have been named “job killers." The Legislature only passed 73 of those, with only 14 being signed by the governor.
 
Big Oil’s mouthpiece, Western States Petroleum Association President Catherine Reheis-Boyd, claimed that the “mandates to force reductions in gasoline use are not climate change policies.” She sad that the bill’s mandates would be “expensive – very expensive.” (Gone unsaid, at the April hearing, was how gas price spikes forced California drivers to pay more than a $1 billion more at the pump in March than drivers elsewhere.)
 
As for the Chamber, board members such as Janet Napolitano, University of California president, Dr. Brice Harris, California Community Colleges chancellor, Dr. Timothy P. White, California State University chancellor and health care executives might want to question the Chamber's stance.

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