California Lawmakers Vote to Extend Cap-and-Trade Through 2030


California legislators voted to extend a law to cut carbon emissions on Monday, extending cap-and-trade through 2030. 

AB 398 cleared the necessary two-thirds majority in both legislative houses in a rare show of unity between various business and environmental groups and others who rarely align with the capitol's interests. Weeks of negotiations between the parties brought eight Republican lawmakers on board to vote for the bill, ensuring its passage. 

"Tonight, California stood tall and once again, boldly confronted the existential threat of our time," Jerry Brown said in a statement on Monday. "That's what good government looks like." 

AB 398 extends the policy which requires firms to purchase permits to release pollutants through 2030. Under California law, emissions are capped for polluters and they're required to obtain permits for the greenhouse gases they emit. Companies can trade for more 'permits' through a state-run auction or purchase more on the private market. The additional cost, or carbon tax, is intended to incentivize companies to reduce their carbon footprint. 

California aims to cut greenhouse gases by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. 

Some conservatives opposed extending the cap-and-trade program because they said the measure would increase prices for food and fuel. 

The new bill puts California at odds with the Trump Administration who withdrew the US. from the 2015 Paris Climate agreement, saying he intends to negotiate a new 'fair' deal. 


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