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The Legislature’s bipartisan vote to reform and extend cap and trade this month was a defining moment for California and our country.
After weeks of negotiations, California’s leading employers, labor, agriculture, health and environmental groups struck a compromise and helped pass a cap-and-trade reform bill with a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, meaning it received support from both sides of the political aisle.
The result — Assembly Bill 398 — was a balanced, market-based and cost-effective policy that will help California achieve its climate goals, protect the economy and lower future cost increases for all Californians, which is the only realistic policy approach for success. That’s exactly what Gov. Brown was striving for and why he requested the Legislature pass the bill and its reforms with a two-thirds vote.
Without this cap-and-trade program, employers and consumers would have faced significantly higher costs, stifling our economy and providing zero guarantee that we would meet our climate goals. California would have moved to a rigid and draconian command-and-control program where unelected state bureaucrats would have unlimited power to raise our gasoline and other energy-related prices.
That’s the last thing hard-working California families need.
Instead, the cap-and-trade program passed by the Legislature last week contains critical reforms to reduce bureaucracy and eliminate duplicative regulations by state and local air boards. Even better, it will lower taxes, fees and regulations by more than $16 billion compared to the costs of the regulation-only approach the state was on track to implement. Assembly Bill 398 is the best available option for California to meet its greenhouse gas…