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Cap and Trade Passes in Unprecedented Bipartisan Vote to Combat Climate Change

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August 1, 2017

On July 17, AB 398, Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial last-minute legislation to extend the cap-and-trade program to 2030, passed 55–21 in the Assembly and 28–12 in the Senate. It was an unprecedented bipartisan vote for fighting climate change, with a total of eight Republicans voting for the bill; these legislators represent some highly polluted areas, including the Central Valley, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.

AB 398 also codifies into law the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and identifies low- and zero-carbon transportation alternatives, including methane, as a funding priority for cap-and-trade auction revenues. In both houses, the legislation passed by just one vote over the required two-thirds majority.

The Coalition received an invitation to attend the bill-signing ceremony on San Francisco’s Treasure Island from Gov. Brown’s office, in recognition of the group’s support for the bill.

Companion measure also passes
Lawmakers also passed AB 398’s companion measure, AB 617, designed to reduce pollution that causes local public health problems; it passed 50–24 in the Assembly and 27–13 in the Senate.

In addition, legislators approved Assembly Constitutional Amendment 1, creating a 2018 ballot measure that would put cap-and-trade revenues into one fund and require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve how the funds are spent. The ballot measure requires a supermajority vote to pass. Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) wrote the amendment to give the minority party more influence over spending cap-and-trade revenues.

Photo ©Westport Innovations, used by permission

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