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The Buzz: Utilities already regulated under cap-and-trade urge Brown to hold fast

Utilities urge Brown to hold fast on cap-and-trade

Oil industry groups and some utilities are on opposite sides in the intensifying debate over expanding California’s cap-and-trade program to vehicle fuels in 2015.

The oil industry has called on Gov. Jerry Brown to delay the expansion. But in a July 11 letter to Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, Sempra Energy – the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Gas Co. – said the utility sector “already shoulders the responsibilities and costs” of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that postponing the expansion would undermine the development of clean-fuel vehicles.

A delay would prolong “an economic inequity among energy resources and gives an unfair price advantage to petroleum fuels compared to clean transportation alternatives,” Sempra’s Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell wrote.

The California Independent Oil Marketers Association, Republican lawmakers and some Democrats want Brown to delay expanding the program, saying consumer costs are likely to increase as a result. The Brown administration, though, has said it plans to go forward with the expansion in January.

– David Siders

Worth repeating

“Their only objective is to promote violence towards others.”

ASSEMBLYMAN ISADORE HALL, Compton Democrat, in a letter complaining about the sale of items bearing the Confederate flag at the California State Fair. The items were removed.