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Published on July 19th, 2017 | by James Ayre


California’s Cap-And-Trade Carbon Emissions Program Survives State Legislature By Razor-Thin Margin, To Run Through 2030

July 19th, 2017 by  

California’s current cap-and-trade system will continue running through 2030, after Governor Jerry Brown’s new extension bill just barely made it through the state senate and assembly — that is, by a razor-thin margin.


To be more exact, the bill (AB 398) required support from two-thirds of the legislators in both houses — from 27 senators, and from 54 in the assembly. As stated above, this minimum requirement was just barely met — 28 senators voted in favor of AB 398, and 55 in the assembly supported the bill.

Notably, a number of Republican assembly members supported the bill. One of those, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside (San Diego County), made an interesting comment on the fact that California’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is relatively limited: “You’re right, we’re a very small component of the world on this. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be leaders on something that’s threatening the world.”

The San Francisco Gate provides more: “Despite fierce opposition from both the left and the right, Brown’s bill won approval in the senate and assembly, with barely a vote to spare. The approvals ensured that a climate program Brown has touted as a model for other states and countries will continue past 2020. … Both houses also approved a companion measure, AB 617, that will increase monitoring of industrial air pollution and toughen penalties for polluters. And they approved a related measure pitched by Republicans, ACA 1, that would put before California voters a ballot measure requiring a one-time, two-thirds vote of the Legislature to appropriate money raised by the cap-and-trade system.

“Cap and trade sets an annual limit on California’s greenhouse gas emissions and forces companies to buy a permit, called an allowance, for every metric ton of gas they emit. The number of allowances available each year matches the annual limit, and both decrease slowly over time, lowering emissions.”

The passage of the bill garnered a bit of negative feedback not just from some Republicans, it should be noted, but also from some environmentalists — who thought that there were too many compromises in the bill, concessions to the fossil fuel lobby.

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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