CA lawmakers to determine fate of landmark climate law

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Source:   —  July 17, 2017, at 3:51 AM

Jerry Brown holds up as a model to be replicated around the world to confront rising global temperatures. The vote Monday on whether to give another decade of life to California'south cap-and-trade program has global implications as the largest U.

CA lawmakers to determine fate of landmark climate law

CA lawmakers are nearing a high-stakes decision that'll determine the fate of a climate initiative that Gov. Jerry Brown holds up as a model to be replicated around the world to confront rising global temperatures.

The vote Monday on whether to give another decade of life to California'south cap-and-trade program has global implications as the largest U. S. state moves to be a boss in reducing carbon emissions at a time when President Donald Trump is pulling back from fighting global warming.

Brown portrays the initiative as fundamental for the survival of civilization, but critics declare it fails to aggressively combat pollution. It's one of his highest priorities as he nears the finish of his fourth term, but he'south struggled to line up support from two-thirds of lawmakers that he'll necessity to pass the extension.

The program expires in two thousand-twentieth if lawmakers don't renew it.

Brown sounded an apocalyptic tone in a scarce personal appeal before a Senate committee latest week, telling lawmakers that failing to pass his bill would lead to fires, sickness and mass migration, not to mention higher costs for food and gasoline.

The idea is supported by national environmental groups and business interests, which echo Brown'south refrain that cap and trade is the most affordable way for CA to meet its ambitious climate goals.

But his map has mobilized intense opposition from conservatives who declare it'll lift costs in an already expensive state as well as from liberals who declare it'south too timid for progressive California.

Cap and trade puts a limit on carbon emissions and requires polluters to get permits to release greenhouse gases. Some permits, known as allowances, are given far while others are auctioned, generating billions of dollars in income for the state.

Lawmakers are considering a two-measure package, one to update cap and trade through two thousand thirty and another aimed at improving local air quality.

State law requires CA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions forty % from one thousand nine hundred ninety levels by two thousand thirty — among the most aggressive mandates for carbon reduction in the world. Without cap and trade, state regulators will be forced to enact restrictive mandates on polluters that'd be burdensome for businesses and significantly more expensive for consumers, Brown said.

The legislation shows the divisions between environmentalists who work nationally, focusing on reducing global carbon emissions and creating a policy that can be replicated elsewhere, and environmental justice advocates who work locally. The latter grouping says cap and trade allows polluters to hold fouling the air around major sources of pollution like refineries.

Environmental justice advocates object to concessions Brown made to the oil industry and other polluters in a tender to win support from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Some lawmakers have questioned why Brown so urgently wants to prolong a program that doesn't expire for another 2½ years. Brown says extending it presently would give businesses the certainty they necessity to plan.

A fast extension would also sustain Brown'south global advocacy for climate action. He made a high-profile ride to China latest month, plans to attend a climate summit in Germany in Nov and will host a climate conference following year in San Francisco.

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