CALIFORNIA, July 19, 2017 - California lawmakers approved a 10-year extension to the state’s cap-and-trade program Monday. The proposal was introduced by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic lawmakers last week in an effort to drastically reduce emissions. In a striking departure from their contemporaries in Washington, GOP lawmakers crossed the aisle to support the legislation.
“California Republicans are different than national Republicans,” Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes told the Los Angeles Times. “Many of us believe that climate change is real, and that it’s a responsibility we have to work to address it.”
In a call for action, Gov. Jerry Brown, Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp and California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg jointly authored an op-ed piece published Sunday.
“Our continued environmental and economic success is not guaranteed. Lawmakers in Sacramento are deciding right now whether to extend cap and trade, one of the state’s key programs to fight climate change, and Californians need their representatives to act,” they wrote.
“This program has a proven track record of being the least expensive approach to cutting carbon emissions – three to five times cheaper than the alternatives.”
The legislation to extend cap and trade until 2030, Assembly Bill 398, passed 55 to 21 in the Assembly and 28 to 12 in the Senate. Cap and trade requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions. A companion measure, AB 617, was approved 50 to 24 in the Assembly and 27 to 13 in the Senate. The bill is aimed at reducing asthma-causing air pollution.