Cap-and-trade re­newal ef­fort hits a road­block

Two bills that aimed to ex­tend pro­gram fail to pass the As­sem­bly.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - By Liam Dil­lon

SACRA­MENTO — Ef­forts to ex­pand Cal­i­for­nia’s pri­mary pro­gram to com­bat cli­mate change have hit a snag.

Two bills that aimed to ex­tend the state’s cap-and­trade pro­gram failed to make it out of the As­sem­bly by this week’s dead­line. And Se­nate leader Kevin de León (D-Los An­ge­les) re­buffed Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to lock in cap and trade’s fu­ture by the June 15 bud­get dead­line, say­ing that the is­sue was too com­pli­cated to com­plete by that time.

“We have to get it right,” De León said this week.

Cap and trade, a sys­tem that re­quires com­pa­nies to pay to pol­lute, aims to force down car­bon emis­sions so that the state can meet its goals of sub­stan­tially re­duc­ing green­house gases over the com­ing decades.

The pro­gram, which gen­er­ates sig­nif­i­cant state rev­enue for anti-global warm­ing in­vest­ments, is au­tho­rized to op­er­ate through 2020. Brown, De León and other law­mak­ers are hop­ing to ex­tend it through a two-thirds su­per­ma­jor­ity vote to in­su­late the ef­fort from le­gal


Since the be­gin­ning of the year, law­mak­ers have dis­cussed pro­pos­als to ex­tend the pro­gram, but noth­ing has gained trac­tion.

On Thurs­day night, AB 378 from Assem­bly­woman Cristina Gar­cia (D-Bell Gar­dens) failed af­ter a long roll call vote that didn’t con­vince skep­ti­cal col­leagues. Be­sides ex­tend­ing the pro­gram for a decade, Gar­cia’s bill would have added new re­stric­tions on air pol­lu­tion, an is­sue that has been cham­pi­oned by en­vi­ron­men­tal jus­tice groups.

An­other cap-and-trade ex­ten­sion bill, from Assem­bly­woman Au­tumn Burke (D-Ma­rina del Rey), never came up for a vote Thurs­day.

Aside from the two bills, busi­ness-aligned Democrats in the As­sem­bly have re­leased their own cap-and­trade plan, a De León­backed mea­sure re­mains ac­tive in the Se­nate, and As­sem­bly Repub­li­cans have ex­pressed in­ter­est in work­ing to ex­tend the pro­gram.

In an in­ter­view this week with The Times, Brown said he un­der­stands the con­cerns of law­mak­ers in low­in­come, high-pol­lu­tion com­mu­ni­ties.

“Clean­ing up the air where it’s most dirty makes a lot of sense,” Brown said. “With cap and trade, we’ll have bil­lions of dol­lars to achieve just that.”

De León said his goal was to have a cap-and-trade deal done by the end of the leg­isla­tive year in Septem­ber.

Luis Sinco Los An­ge­les Times

AN OIL RE­FIN­ERY pumps out emis­sions in Wilm­ing­ton. “Clean­ing up the air where it’s most dirty makes a lot of sense,” Gov. Jerry Brown said this week.

Rich Pe­dron­celli As­so­ci­ated Press

GOV. JERRY BROWN, cen­ter, Se­nate leader Kevin de León (D-Los An­ge­les), right, and oth­ers hope to ex­tend cap and trade through a su­per­ma­jor­ity vote.

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