Capitol Alert

Doug Ose hits gas station, says global warming science ‘sketchy’

Republican Doug Ose, the once-and-potentially future congressman, hopped out of his pickup truck Friday and soon was mingling with a young woman at a Chevron on Fair Oaks Boulevard in Sacramento.

“My opponent, Ami Bera, wants to raise your gas taxes,” Ose said Friday, handing her a flier that said as much. “That’s not good,” she said, before driving off.

Ose had invited the media to join as he walked from pump to pump warning unsuspecting customers about Bera’s position on fuel taxes. His handout, with customary campaign citations, noted that Bera in a 2010 telephone town hall said raising the gas tax to reduce consumption was “worth exploring.” While a Bera aide later walked back the remark, Ose pointed to his Democratic rival’s support for the Simpson-Bowles plan, which proposed hiking the gas tax by 15 cents.

“If you have to spend $10, or $15 or $20 extra to fill your tank, that takes away from what you need to buy groceries or pay rent,” Ose said.

Later, he summoned a reporter to a discussion he was having on global warming. “I am skeptical because of the science being sketchy,” Ose said.

Oliver Smith, 68 of Sacramento, agreed.

“It’s a political issue and they are using it to job us,” said Smith, a nutritionist and author. “It’s a game.”

Bera issued a statement in which he said he does not, and never has supported, a gas tax because he considers it an unfair levy on the middle class.

“This is a clear attempt by former Congressman Ose to distract from his record of siding with extremists like the Koch brothers and the tea party in denying climate change,” he said, “and looking out for the Big Oil companies who funded his campaigns, instead of Sacramento County families.