The vote Monday on whether to give another decade of life to
Brown portrays the initiative as essential for the survival of civilization, but critics say it fails to aggressively combat pollution. It is one of his highest priorities as he nears the end of his fourth term, but he’s struggled to line up support from two-thirds of lawmakers that he will need to pass the extension.
The program expires in 2020 if lawmakers don’t renew it.
Brown sounded an apocalyptic tone in a rare personal appeal before a
The idea is supported by national environmental groups and business interests, which echo Brown’s refrain that cap and trade is the most affordable way for
But his plan has mobilized intense opposition from conservatives who say it will raise costs in an already expensive state as well as from liberals who say it’s too timid for progressive
Cap and trade puts a limit on carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits to release greenhouse gases. Some permits, known as allowances, are given away while others are auctioned, generating billions of dollars in revenue for the state.
Lawmakers are considering a two-measure package, one to renew cap and trade through 2030 and another aimed at improving local air quality.
State law requires
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 group says cap and trade allows polluters to keep 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 bid to win support from
Some lawmakers have questioned why Brown so urgently wants to extend a program that doesn’t expire for another 2½ years. Brown says extending it now would give businesses the certainty they need to plan.
A quick extension would also bolster Brown’s global advocacy for climate action. He made a high-profile trip to