With strong support from the California Chamber of Commerce and the business community, the Legislature yesterday approved AB 398 (E. Garcia; D-Coachella), which will extend the cap-and-trade program, which provides the least costly path to achieving the state’s ambitious climate goals.
“The Legislature achieved a bipartisan solution that will reduce the cost of compliance with the state’s ambitious greenhouse gas reductions,” said Allan Zaremberg, president and CEO of CalChamber.
The Senate approved AB 398, 28-12, followed by Assembly approval by a 55-21 margin. The bill required a two-thirds supermajority because the cap-and-trade auction is a tax.
“Republicans and Democrats set aside their differences, came together and took courageous action,” Governor Brown said following the passage of the cap-and-trade legislation. “That’s what good government looks like.”
Last year California passed SB 32 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills; Chapter 249), which adopted the most ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal in this or any other country.
CalChamber and the business community supported AB 398 because it will make cap-and-trade the primary tool to meet the state’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. AB 398 also includes cost containment measures that will help mitigate some of the impacts on consumers and the economy, including a price ceiling, audited offsets that reduce costs and spur innovation, industry assistance to mitigate loss of jobs and emissions to other states, and reduced direct command-and-control measures by state and local regulators.
CalChamber Announces Support for Accountability Measure, ACA 1
Yesterday, CalChamber also announced support for ACA 1 (Mayes; R-Yucca Valley), an important element of the overall cap-and-trade package to ensure accountability over the spending of revenues from the cap-and-trade auction. The measure also passed the Legislature with bipartisan support on July 17.
The recently passed cap-and-trade extension measure, AB 398, will authorize the collection of billions of dollars in new revenues for the state’s climate change and other programs.
ACA 1, a constitutional amendment, will establish a legislative “check-up” in 2024, providing an opportunity to review (1) expenditures from the fund since 2020; (2) the commitment to regulatory and tax reforms enacted in AB 398; and (3) the effectiveness of the overall state program in reducing GHGs and minimizing the effect on the California economy.
The Legislature will enforce this check-up by requiring that any appropriations in 2024 be approved by a two-thirds supermajority of the Legislature.
Recent legislation to mandate economy-wide GHG reductions will have profound effects on the California economy and on individual businesses. ACA 1 will provide the Legislature with a mid-term opportunity to gauge the overall effectiveness of this ambitious program.
ACA 1 passed the Senate by a 27-13 margin, followed by Assembly approval by a 59-11 margin. This measure also required a two-thirds legislative supermajority because it proposes a constitutional amendment, which will be voted on by the people in June of 2018.