OPINION – The volatility of California’s education budget is not necessary and should always be stable. At times it could even show an increase in resources to directly benefit student learning opportunities.
Last year the state senate proposed a bill to create an education trust fund generated by an oil severance tax. The bill specifically stated, if signed into law, oil companies could not pass off the tax increase to consumers in the form of higher costs at the pump.
Shelved and parked in a dark committee room, the bill is now dead. Had it survived, it may have dropped $814 million into K-14 school coffers this year and upwards of $1.5 billion next year according to the California Board of Equalization, the state’s tax revenue collecting agency.
As rates of cancer, asthma, lung disease and birth deformities rise, so do California’s oil production. Its remnants are visible on the hazy brown horizon throughout the state.
Western States Petroleum is a well-heeled advocate protecting the policy interest of oil companies and collects data about its billion dollar industry. The company proclaims California is the 3
largest gasoline producer behind China and the rest of the U.S. It reports the state produces 2.8 million gallons of fuel an hour and 43 millions of gasoline per day.
The result is thousands of pounds of daily unhealthy emissions distributed from cars, diesel engines and jet fueled planes.