By Steven Greenhut / Contributed What were Gov. Jerry Brown, legislative Democrats and eight Republicans thinking July 17, as they voted to extend the state’s cap-and-trade system for another decade, something that will impose higher gas taxes on Californians who already face a recent gas tax hike? Are officials ignoring public rumblings, or was Brown’s doomsday rhetoric about global warming really so persuasive? Public opinion polls suggest that Californians aren’t simply against that recently passed gas tax increase (plus significant hikes in the vehicle license fee) – they are spitting mad about it. A survey from UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies last month found 39 percent of Californians strongly opposed

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