California Extends Cap and Trade Program to Address Climate Change

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California Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers at press conference on passage of cap and trade bill.
Source: “California Just Got Bipartisan Support to Extend Its Cap and Trade Program to 2030,” vox.com, July 18, 2017

On Monday July 17, California state lawmakers voted to extend California’s cap and trade program to the year 2030. The program seeks to address climate change by requiring companies to purchase permits to emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, creating a monetary incentive for them to reduce their emissions. California is currently the only state in the nation with a cap and trade program of its kind.

Assembly Bill 398 passed the California Assembly in a 55-21 vote and cleared the California Senate in a 28-12 vote. In addition to strong Democratic support, the bill also received support from eight Republican members.

After the legislature passed the bill, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement calling climate change “the existential threat of our time” and praised Republicans and Democrats for setting aside their differences and coming together to take “courageous action.”

US Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had urged Republican members of the California State Legislature to vote against extending California’s cap and trade program, stating it will only lead to “raising more taxes on California drivers and families.” Some of the money raised by the program will be used to help fund California’s bullet train, a project McCarthy called a “boondoggle.”

According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, the cap and trade bill could raise gasoline prices by 24-73 cents a gallon by 2031.


Sources:

Jerry Brown, Twitter post, July 17, 2017

Dale Kasler, “California’s Cap-and-Trade Program Is Costly, Controversial. But How Does It Work?,” sacbee.com, July 19, 2017

Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna, “California Just Got Bipartisan Support to Extent Its Cap and Trade Program to 2030,” vox.com, July 18, 2017

Los Angeles Times, “House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Comes out against California’s Cap-and-Trade Plan,” latimes.com, July 13, 2017

Melanie Mason and Chris Megerian, “California Legislature Extends State’s Cap-and-Trade Program in Rare Bipartisan Effort to Address Climate Change,” latimes.com, July 17, 2017