LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California’s Democratic-controlled legislature was expected to vote on Monday to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program for another decade, under a compromise bill opposed by some lawmakers within the party, business groups and environmentalists.
The legislation puts California front and center in a bid by mostly Democratic governors to reduce carbon emissions and adhere to climate change goals of the Paris Agreement after Republican President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact.
“The legislature is taking action to curb climate change and protect vulnerable communities from industrial poisons,” Democratic Governor Jerry Brown said last week in announcing the two-bill package of legislation.
Those bills would extend the state’s cap-and-trade program, which was set to expire in three years, through 2030 and attempt to strengthen it by requiring large industrial facilities to upgrade old equipment with cleaner, more modern technology by 2023.
The package also seeks to reform the state’s cap-and-trade market by curbing the number of free carbon allowances by 40 percent by 2030 and requiring that offsets be sourced from California, not elsewhere.
Although Democrats have a supermajority in the California legislature, they have failed to pass previous attempts to pass new cap-and-trade legislation over opposition from more liberal members of the party who felt it did not go far enough and moderates concerned about the impact on business.
Republicans have been largely united in opposing the legislation, saying it places unfair burdens on consumers and employers, especially on top of a 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax hike passed by state lawmakers earlier this year.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney