California Legislature Passes Cap-And-Trade Renewal

Monday evening, after hours of intense debate and an energized push from Brown himself, California lawmakers voted to extend the state's cap-and-trade program through 2030. Are officials ignoring public rumblings, or was Brown's doomsday rhetoric about global warming really so persuasive? A survey from UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies last month found 39 percent of Californians strongly opposed to the law and another 19 percent opposed.

Earlier this year, Republicans nearly universally opposed funding road repairs with an increase in the gasoline tax.

"We could shut down the entire state of California and it would have no effect on the global climate", Mr Vidak said. But they lost that fight, and with the target now set, cap and trade appeals to businesses as a way to maintain some flexibility while they work to reach the collective emissions reduction goal.

Among other things, Brown agreed to continue a sales tax exemption on new emission-control equipment for manufacturers. Individuals should be able to keep more of their hard-earned money so that they can invest in their futures - not fund big government priorities like the governor's high-speed rail train.

"Business taxes are never paid by business. I'm going to be dead", he told the committee. But it's hard to see how dramatically raising Californians' gas prices on Californians - thus increasing not only our driving costs, but the costs of transporting and manufacturing every manner of food and consumer good - is going to save the planet. The bill includes language that would gradually tighten restrictions on businesses, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases they're allowed to put in the atmosphere by 40 percent by 2030.

Last week, he described an apocalyptic future of enormous social dislocation, disease and deadly heat -"Southern California burning up" -unless greenhouse gases are sharply reduced. "The legislature set aggressive new carbon-cutting targets previous year, and extending cap-and-trade through 2030 helps ensure that the state will meet those new goals-a 40 percent statewide reduction below 1990 levels by 2030, the toughest in North America". The current level of emissions is about 440 million metric tons. It puts California at a competitive disadvantage with every other state and nearly every country. Other influential environmental groups applauded the legislation, saying it represented a reasonable balance that represented the best change for moving the program forward.

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The governor couldn't help but point out the contrast with Washington. Only one Republican in the senate crossed party lines on the measure.

"I leave tonight with the satisfaction of knowing that we did everything we could to look after everyone" in the state, he said, "and left no one behind".

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, a moderate Republican from the East Bay, said her office received numerous calls from people, many of them outside her district, urging her to vote no. Interestingly, the Los Angeles Times reports that oil companies have said little about cap-and-trade and were in favor of it behind closed doors because they view it as a less-costly option than any other more stringent regulations California could impose. He hopes extending cap-and-trade won't result in the high prices analysts are estimating. The California Chamber of Commerce also supported the cap and trade extension, even though it's been challenging the program in court for years.

The unprecedented bipartisan support for the system, which also saw one GOP state senator sign on, extended beyond California.

"Mona Shulman from Pacific Coast Producers in Woodland said: ". this bill is needed to prevent economic leakage and to protect our California companies against national and worldwide competition.

  • Adam Floyd