Environmentalists call on California Democrats to reject cap-and-trade plan

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 18, 2017

Jerry Brown's plan to extend California's cap-and-trade program are calling on Democrats to reject the plan and craft a more liberal alternative. Hours later, the Assembly voted 55-21 to send the legislation to Brown.

"Tonight, California stood tall and once again, boldly confronted the existential threat of our time". "Republicans and Democrats set aside their differences, came together and took courageous action".

Speaking in opposition, State Senator Andy Vidak said the laws represented a "regressive" tax that would not make any impact on climate change.

"We could shut down the entire state of California and it would have absolutely no effect on the global climate", said Sen. California is looking to serve as a model for reducing carbon emissions even as President Donald Trump is pulling back from the fight against global warming.

Cap-and-trade puts a limit on carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits to release greenhouse gases.

The package also seeks to reform the state's cap-and-trade market by curbing the number of free carbon allowances by 40 percent by 2030 and requiring that offsets be sourced from California, not elsewhere.

Republicans were largely united in opposing the legislation, saying it places unfair burdens on consumers and employers, especially on top of a 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax hike passed by state lawmakers earlier this year.

The latter group said cap and trade allows polluters to keep fouling the air around major sources of pollution like oil refineries and objected to concessions Brown made to the oil industry and other polluters in a bid to win support from Republicans and moderate Democrats. He made a high-profile trip to China last month, plans to attend a climate summit in Germany in November and will host a climate conference next year in San Francisco.

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