However, he rejected proposals to accelerate oil drilling, stating that he wanted the state “once and for all freed from the grasp of petro-dictators.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom advocated returning the money back to taxpayers in an effort to offset record-high gas costs in California.
After President Biden blocked Russian oil imports on Tuesday in reaction to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, California now has the nation’s highest average gas price, at $5.44 per gallon, according to AAA.
In his annual State of the State address, Newsom outlined his plan, which is expected to take the shape of a tax rebate. Even while he promised to work with lawmakers to “put money back in the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices,” Governor Brown did not provide any specifics.
People who own a car will receive a reimbursement in the billions, according to Newsom’s top adviser, Dee Dee Myers. The reimbursement, which may happen as soon as this spring, would also apply to those who are illegally present in the United States.
“The California Way” is the antidote to what he called the “agents of a national anger machine,” Newsom said in addressing a wide range of issues in his election-year speech.
His administration’s progress on homelessness, the economy, education, and climate change were all highlighted in an address to assembled legislators in an auditorium just outside the state Capitol.
Last year’s address was given in an empty Dodger Stadium, which was being used as a mass-testing site, while this year’s speech was given in an indoor auditorium.
Because of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the number of coronavirus cases this year is at a record low, and gas costs are skyrocketing. Biden’s government has been criticized by Republicans around the country and in California for not increasing drilling. Despite that, Newsom turned it down.
“Drilling any more oil just leads to even more catastrophic weather, more intense drought, more wildfire,” he warned. “”
It’s time to fight pollution, not support it, Newsom added. As a result, we will be free of the control of petro-dictators for good.
“California’s leadership,” as he did throughout the address, was Newsom’s alternative, calling clean energy “this generation’s greatest economic opportunity.”
Despite the fact that California is one of the most oil-rich states in the country, Republicans in the Legislature and statewide positions see rising gas prices as an election-year problem they can exploit. According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, California taxes gasoline at 51.1 cents a gallon, which ranks second only to Pennsylvania.
Prices for gasoline have spiraled out of control. It is time to suspend the gas tax and stop relying on foreign oil, Assemblymember Suzette Martinez Valladares (R-San Diego) stated in her Republican “prebuttal” to Newsom’s address.
A gas tax rise slated to take effect this summer has also been put on hold by Newsom. Democrats in the state legislature, however, have objected to that proposal, stating that it would make it more difficult to maintain the state’s highways while delivering just a paltry amount of relief at the gas pumps.
Republicans can cooperate with Newsom on the tax rebate, according to Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher.
“In these hard times when the cost of living is through the roof, we should be giving the voters and inhabitants of this state back some of their money,” Gallagher said of the state’s roughly $60 billion surpluses.
Since taking office in 2011, California’s governor has been attempting to wean the state’s automotive culture off of the internal combustion engine.
Cars powered by gasoline will no longer be sold in California by 2035, and all oil extraction in the state will be stopped by 2045, according to Newsom’s directive.
About 300 of the 632 oil drilling permits awarded by the Newsom administration in 2021 and thus far this year have yet to be used, according to the governor’s office.
Several environmental organizations have called on Newsom to put an immediate halt to new oil and gas drilling.
Republican attacks on Newsom’s proposals were met with a retort. However, he said, California will not “revert to heavy-handed methods that have distinguished the failures of the past” when it comes to combatting crime.
California’s efforts at “finding innovative answers to large issues” were highlighted in Newsom’s speech at both the beginning and end of the speech, as if he were speaking to a national audience. Newsom warned that democracy was at risk.
There may not be wars being waged by strongmen, but we are tormented by agents of a national rage machine, he argued, creating division and weaponizing grievances.”Weakening the institutions of our democracy are powerful forces and loud voices – fanning fear and aiming to divide us.”
California’s history of “stretching the horizon of what’s possible” was cited as an option.
By saying, “We realize that government can’t be everything,” Newsom acknowledged that “government has always been a part of the answer.”
To achieve these aims, governments should promote the private sector, encourage diversity, and “unify toward a shared purpose,” he said.
Homelessness is consistently rated as one of the most urgent issues facing Californians, according to public opinion polls. California has the highest homeless population in the US, and Newsom has funded a record $12 billion for programs and initiatives, but encampments continue to expand despite this.
In his speech, Newsom emphasized his idea to create new Care Courts in each county, which may force persons with mental health difficulties off the street and into treatment.
Newsom has previously spent billions of dollars fighting homelessness “yet the situation has become worse,” said Gallagher, a Republican leader. To claim, ‘Mission achieved,’ simply showing up to do some cleanup, and another photoshoot is not sufficient. The problem with that is that it’s not working