Dec 16, 2013 1:54 PM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer says he will launch a campaign next year urging California lawmakers to approve taxes on companies that extract oil in the state.
The major Democratic donor said Monday he thinks it is ridiculous that California is the only oil-producing state that does not levy such a fee, which could generate billions of dollars a year.
Proposals for an oil tax have stalled repeatedly amid pressure from oil companies, which are major donors to lawmakers' campaigns.
Steyer says he will seek to persuade lawmakers through public polling that voters support taxing major oil producers.
It could be a hard sell in 2014, an election year. Steyer says he believes Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, would sign such legislation but acknowledges the two have not talked about it.
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