As the Legislature races to adjourn on Aug. 31, Senate president pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) stopped in its tracks a bill to exempt gasoline and diesel fuel makers from the state\u2019s carbon cap-and-trade program. Steinberg refused to waive the rules to allow a hearing on AB 69 by Assemblymember Henry Perea (D-Fresno), which would have kept fuel producers and marketers from having to buy emissions allowances in the cap-and-trade program\u2019s regular allowance auctions starting next year. It would have delayed their entry by two years because of the expected hike in gasoline prices, according to Perea. \u201c[T]he cost of doing nothing is greater,\u201d Steinberg said in an Aug. 22 letter to Perea. \u201cIf we are serious about reducing fuel costs, and righting the public health and economic wrong facing our constituents, we must wean ourselves off fossil fuels and invest in cleaner transportation alternatives and in low income communities,\u201d he added. Steinberg\u2019s move drew applause from climate protection advocates. \u201cCalifornia families, especially those in lower-income, higher-unemployment communities, will continue to benefit from our state\u2019s landmark climate law\u2014affirmed by an overwhelming vote of the people\u2014with cleaner air, better health, more jobs and lower costs in the years to come,\u201d said Tom Steyer, president of the non-profit Next Generation and former head of Farallon Capital Management. The Western States Petroleum Association asserted that including transportation fuels in the state\u2019s carbon market \u201cwill increase the cost of making gasoline and diesel 14 cents\/gallon to 69 cents\/gallon, depending on the cost of carbon allowances.\u201d Many economists estimated the requirement would raise the price at the pump by a dime a gallon. The transportation sector is the largest source of carbon emissions in the state. Curbing emissions from this sector will reduce the pressure on electric utilities to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Including the state\u2019s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is expected to significantly increase the carbon market auction revenue. Meanwhile, the Legislature passed and Gov. Jerry Brown signed other energy measures, though the action is far from over. Bills signed into law by Brown this week include: AB 1937 by Assemblymember Richard S. Gordon (D-Menlo Park). Known as the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act of 2011, it requires gas companies to notify schools and hospitals three days in advance of any non-emergency excavation or construction of gas pipelines. AB 2137 by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) requires the California Public Utilities Commission to make information available to small businesses on energy efficiency programs. AB 2761 by the Assembly Committee on Utilities & Commerce changes the due date of an annual report by the California Public Utilities Commission to lawmakers on renewable energy resources from Feb. 1 to May 1. Energy legislation passed on the legislative floors this week and sent to the governor includes: SB 1371 by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) directs the California Public Utilities Commission to develop and implement a comprehensive natural gas pipeline leak reduction plan. Efficient leak repairs are expected to reduce levels of methane pollution. Sealing leaks is also predicted to avoid millions of dollars of lost revenue from \u201cfugitive\u201d emissions. AB 2188 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) requires cities and counties to adopt an expedited permit process for home solar energy system installations. Passed 68-3 on the Assembly floor Aug. 20, it seeks to eliminate unreasonable local barriers to small solar system retrofits, which include directing local agency permitting to conform to the Solar Permitting Guidebook adopted by the Governor\u2019s Office of Planning and Research.