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One of the biggest legislative fights of the year has been over bills dealing with climate change, with proposals ranging from increased taxes and fees to sweeping restrictions on emissions over the coming decades. However, despite the support of both Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats in both houses, these measures are facing stiff opposition because of their consequences for both consumers and businesses throughout the state. The fear was that these measures would lead to a sharp increase in costs for car owners and for those who relied on vehicles to conduct business, and these concerns are what led to the removal of a controversial proposal from the most ambitious piece of legislation just before the end of the legislative session.

Senate Bill 350, authored by Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, originally intended to dramatically reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by reducing petroleum emissions in vehicles by 50% and increasing the state utilities’ usage of renewable energy to 50%. However this measure faced stiff opposition from many different sectors including the CPSA, mainly because of the resulting consequences of targeting petroleum use in cars and trucks. Such a sharp reduction in gas usage could only be achieved through drastic means such as steep increases in gas prices. While those increases would indeed reduce petroleum emissions, it would do so by pricing many consumers and businesses out of the ability to drive, especially those who utilize cars and trucks in their business endeavors. For businesses that rely on trucks for their operations, such as the pool industry, the effects could have been devastating.

Bowing to stiff pressure from opponents, the advocates of SB 350 removed the petroleum reduction measures from the bill. With the deadline to pass all bills looming large this Friday, there was simply not enough time to muster the support that such a controversial measure needed, nor to address the concerns that had been raised by so many with high stakes in the effects of the bill’s passage. Climate advocates have promised that they will continue to work towards large-scale reductions in emissions, but hopefully their next attempt will not include measures so potentially disastrous to so many important sectors of California’s economy.

Chalk up another win for the CPSA. The association’s efforts in 2014 and 2015 have been dominated by responding to state and local water use restrictions. However, SB 350 demonstrates that the association’s efforts must always be centered on the many bills that can adversely affect the swimming pool, spa and hot tub business in California.

The CPSA is the only association registered to lobby on behalf of the swimming pool and spa industry in California. We protect your business by advocating for your rights and interests to governments from the local to the state level, and we work to make sure that you are represented in all regulatory and legislative issues.