SACRAMENTO (CBS SF/ AP) — California lawmakers have voted to extend the state’s landmark law to combat climate change after hours of fraught debate and days of direct appeals from Gov. Jerry Brown.
With Brown’s signature, California’s cap-and-trade program will survive through 2030. The program caps carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits for each ton of carbon they release.
California Assemblyman Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) voted for the bill despite what he described as fear tactics.
“Our job is to have the guts to stare them in the eye and say you know what, my job is to have the back of my friend, my neighbor, the guys I go to church with. And all the politics and all the phone calls and all the BS about if you do this, this and that garbage…My heart tells me this is the right thing to do,” Mathis said.
On Monday, both chambers of the state Legislature approved the extension, which has the potential for global implications. California is looking to serve as a model for reducing carbon emissions even as President Donald Trump is pulling back from the fight against global warming.
Brown fought aggressively to extend the program, which would have ended in 2020, calling it the “most important” vote of lawmakers’ lives.
Brown said Monday night, following the vote, “This is rising above party.”
He described the program as “efficient,” “sound” and “balanced,” noting that California’s program “is already being emulated by provinces in China and provinces in Canada.”
“We’re doing it right,” he said.
Some environmentalists say the program includes unreasonable concessions to oil companies.
Brown calls it an affordable way to address climate change.
TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.