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Republicans in California are pushing to repeal the 12-cent gas tax. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The gas tax in California has not gone up in 25 years — until now.

Why it matters: California Republicans are jumping at the chance to make this an election issue, writes the New York Times' Adam Nagourney, in the hopes that pushing for repeal will help them keep the House. Residents will have an opportunity to repeal the gas tax when they go to the polls in November.

The backdrop: Lawmakers passed the 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax last year as a way to raise an estimated $5 billion for infrastructure repairs around the state.

Battle lines: GOP candidate for governor John Cox has made repealing the gas tax a staple of his campaign against his Democratic challenger.

  • Outgoing Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown told Nagourney: “This is engineered by the Republican congressional delegation to prop up their vulnerable Republicans in Orange County and the Central Valley. They don’t give a damn about the roads in California.”
  • Politico reports that a former San Diego city council member has so far raised more than $1.1 million to repeal the gas tax.
  • 51% of Californians want to repeal the gas tax, per LA Times.

What to watch: Both sides will continue pouring money into this issue as Republicans are defending seven crucial House seats throughout California.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.