California Climate Crossroads: Gov. Brown is Supporting a Giveaway to Polluters

Thursday, July 13, 2017
HuffPost

California currently has one of the most comprehensive climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction programs in the world. Bold legislation supporting the reduction of pollutants, include AB 32 and SB 32, set ambitious goals for California to rapidly transition to a green economy. While California currently has a cap-and-trade program in place to reduce GHG emissions, there are substantial legal concerns with the function of the current program post 2020. In turn, lawmakers have been scrambling to find an alternative way forward to continue meeting the state’s substantial GHG reduction targets.

Since May, progressives and environmental groups across the California have been rallying behind a groundbreaking post-2020 carbon pricing bill known as SB-775.

However, Governor Brown had other thoughts, deciding to give big oil a seat at the table. Brown, and supporters introduced their legislation (AB 398) on Monday to reauthorize California’s cap-and-trade program.

If the goal is to safeguard both the Earth’s climate and the health of Californians, while promoting economic security of Californian families, AB 398 falls woefully short. Not only does AB 398 represent a giveaway to polluters, largely at the expense of low- and middle-income CA households, but it will likely fail to adequately assist the state in meeting their climate goals.

Just how do the two bills diverge?

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