SACRAMENTO - North State Assemblyman and Chief Republican Whip Dan Logue denounced Governor Brown's suggestion of using cap-and-trade revenues to fund the High Speed Rail project.
"AB 32 is becoming exactly what we feared - an oppressive regulatory program complete with a slush fund to pay for pet projects," said Logue. "This is an outrageous shell game the Governor is playing. This is a direct tax on manufacturing. We have lost 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the last seven years. This cap-and-trade sham will only continue the exodus of jobs and businesses out of state and now we are going to use those funds to build a High Speed Rail to nowhere."
In an interview with ABC 7-Los Angeles, Governor Jerry Brown said he does not believe the proposed High Speed Rail project will cost $100 billion over 20 years, as estimated by the High Speed Rail Authority in their latest plan. He also suggested that the fees that will be collected from California businesses under the AB 32 cap-and-trade auction will be used to fund the High Speed Rail project. The California Air Resources Board will be conducting its cap-and-trade auction in 2013, and the Governor estimates $1 billion will be collected from businesses.
"You cannot take one billion dollars out of the economy in order to save the environment, then turn around and use that money to fund a project that will wreak havoc on the environment and local economies," Logue added. "The High Speed Rail project has been criticized by the State Auditor, the Legislative Analyst, and even the project's own Peer Review Group. Now that voters know the truth, they should be allowed to vote to end this boondoggle."
The Governor will release a formal proposal for funding the High Speed Rail project in his May Revise Budget. The Legislature will consider this proposal in conjunction with the whole 2012-2013 Fiscal Year Budget that must be passed by midnight on June 15th.
Assemblyman Logue represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra and Yuba.