SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California legislators passed an extension of the state’s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on Monday night, sending the bill to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.
The bill was supported by one Republican senator and seven Republican Assembly members, which were needed to narrowly pass the legislation in both houses.
“That’s why we have Republicans voting here. That’s why we’re all here, Democrats and Republicans because we have a path forward,” said Brown in a news conference following the assembly vote.
He called Assembly Bill 398 a “durable foundation moving forward” and a way to “cut costs and cut emissions.”
The “cap and trade” bill requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions. The new legislation would keep it operating until 2030.
Supporters say it will move the state closer to lower emissions goals and set the stage for the world to follow. There are also protections for rural communities and areas with high unemployment and poverty.
“This is a huge win for all Californians,” said state Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, “the world is watching.”
De Leon said the bill was “not perfect” during his comments on the Senate floor. He continued saying, “we shouldn’t let perfect stand in the way of good.”
Opponents of the bill worry the financial burden of potentially rising energy costs could hurt all Californians.
“We continue to put pressure on poor people in California on the middle class, and we need to figure out other ways to address environmental concerns in California,” said Sen. Ted Gains.
Other Republicans chimed in on social media.
Sen. John Moorlach tweeting, “I don’t understand how addressing a minor change in temperature 100 years from now should rest primarily on CA taxpayers #capandtrade”
The California Environmental Justice Alliance also opposes the bill. The group stated the bill would “undermine the state’s ability to achieve California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.”
The statement continued “we are deeply concerned about the role Big Oil has played in drafting this legislation behind closed doors.”
Governor Brown finished his remarks late Monday night saying CO2 emissions are “not a local issue. They’re a global issue.” He called on California to be the example for the rest of the world.