California lawmakers have extended the state’s efforts to fight global warming, voting to extend laws that have reduced the state’s carbon footprint.
The vote to extend the cap-and-trade program boosts Governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to lead the nation in the fight against global warming. During a press conference after the vote, Governor Brown noted the stark contrast between California and Washington, where Republicans are still debating whether climate change is a real thing.
“We didn’t come here to Sacramento to just be Republicans and to hate on Democrats,” said Chad Mayes, Assembly Republican Leader. “We came here to Sacramento to make people’s lives better.”
Brown has been pushing for other states to follow the cap-and-trade model in an effort to fight global warming.
The cap and trade model limits carbon emissions and polluters are required to obtain a license to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Some types of permits, called allowances, are given away. Other types of permits are auctioned off, which generates billions of dollars for the state.
“We’re only 1 percent of the problem, but we’re a lot more a part of the solution. It’s not just what we do – it’s what other people can follow,” said Brown.
California’s climate change law would have expired in 2020 without legislative action.
Environmentalists were opposed to the law, which they say isn’t aggressive enough. Conservatives were also against the measure, as they believe it will raise costs in one of the most expensive states in America.
Senator Andy Vidak, a Republican opposed to the bill, said shutting down the entire state of California would not have an impact on global warming.
“But what is measurable is the effect this tax will have on the poorest of the poor in my district and across California,” Vidak said.
The bill will now head to Governor Brown’s desk for approval.