By Bill Raden, Capital & Main.
For Sacramento, July is traditionally the calm before the storm — when state lawmakers and lobbyists desert the capital during the summer recess to brace for August’s legislative onslaught and its end-of-the-month deadline for bills headed to the governor’s desk. This year, however, the lights have remained on in both the offices of Governor Jerry Brown and the state’s powerful oil lobby.
Earlier this month, Brown and Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) president Catherine Reheis-Boyd confirmed reports of ongoing direct talks between the governor and oil industry groups over what a Brown spokesperson told Capital & Main in a carefully worded email statement was an extension of “the state’s cap-and-trade program and climate goals beyond 2020.” The statement said talks were taking place for the sake of “market certainty” and to “ensure ongoing funding for clean energy programs, especially in vulnerable communities.”
A similarly vague message from Reheis-Boyd said only that the talks were aimed at “improving the state’s current programs and ensuring legislative oversight concerning the decisions that will determine California’s next course of action to combat climate change.” (Another oil group, the California Independent Oil Marketers Association, did not respond to a request for comment.)