Last week California Governor Jerry Brown used his bully pulpit to ignite efforts to sustain his progressive climate change strategies.
Brown’s climate change initiatives have earned a reputation as some of the most ambitious climate change efforts in the country. His efforts are now largely focused on the state’s cap and trade program currently set to expire in 2020.
The cornerstone of the state’s climate change initiatives is the highly controversial and aggressive cap and trade program designed to reduce the use of fossil fuels. It mandates manufacturers and other company to meet emissions limits that some consider tough and excessive or pay to exceed them. The program has garnered international attention and many are watching closely to judge its success (or failure).
As Brown seeks to extend the cap and trade effort at least through 2030, the initiative is faced with myriad of challenges on a number of fronts. The challenges begin with legislative members of Brown’s own party whose support can best be described as tepid and unenthusiastic. In addition, the sale of program credits has under-performed expectations. While at the same time, the state also finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit where plaintiffs contend the initiative is illegal.
Supporters of the effort however, credit the initiative with helping to cut the state’s overall emissions’ output by approximately 1.5 percent in its first two years of operation. They further claim the reduction was attained in spite of California’s growing economy that requires huge sources of energy to sustain it.
There are a number of moving pieces in the effort to extend cap and trade to 2030 including direct talks between the Brown administration and oil companies. It is no secret these companies are determined to alter or repeal the state’s low-carbon fuel standard.
This week the California Air Resources Board was expected to release a proposed blueprint for extending the cap and trade program. A vote on the proposed extension is expected sometime next year.
For more information regarding cap and trade program visit the Air Resources Board website at arb.ca.gov/cc/capandtrade/capandtrade.htm