■ By Jon Coupal / Contributed Last month eight Republicans in the California Legislature made the unfortunate decision to vote for an extension of cap and trade that will increase the cost of fuel by as much as 71 cents a gallon by 2031. The primary justification was that the market-based cap-and-trade solution was preferable to any option controlled solely by the powerful and hostile California Air Resources Board (CARB). While that argument can’t be discounted, it is nonetheless useful to speculate what would have happened if no Republicans supported the deal. Historically, Republicans have been the primary defenders of California’s middle-class taxpayers. They almost always vote against any proposal to

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