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July 4, 2017 > Senate Cap and Trade bill garners more support

Senate Cap and Trade bill garners more support

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

A growing number of statewide and regional organizations in California, representing thousands of members, are lining up in support of SB 775, the Cap and Trade bill unveiled in May by Senator Bob Wieckowski and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León. The groups include climate activists, environmental justice organizations, consumer advocates, physicians, cities and academics.

ÒSupporters of SB 775 know that it is based on sound policy that will enable California to reach its ambitious goals by 2030,Ó said Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. ÒIt sets a steadily rising price for carbon that is in line with what the worldÕs top economists think is necessary to address climate change. It also protects Californians from increased prices caused by Cap and Trade by giving residents a climate dividend, the first to be proposed in California. I am optimistic that SB 775 represents a path to extending Cap and Trade beyond 2020 and I look forward to moving the bill this year.Ó

Wieckowski has been meeting with a variety of stakeholders over the past few months to discuss the bill and how it would help enable California to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals approved by the Legislature in last yearÕs SB 32.

SB 775 requires a two-thirds vote, has an Òurgency clause,Ó and can be moved through the Legislature at any time. It is currently in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee chaired by Wieckowski, which considers all climate change legislation. It establishes a steadily rising carbon price collar that will bring more certainty to the Cap and Trade system, stabilize revenues derived from Cap and Trade and decrease the market volatility.

The bill creates three funds from Cap and Trade auctions: a climate dividend fund; an infrastructure and climate adaptation fund; and a clean energy and climate research fund. It covers the same entities as the existing program, but completely separates the trading periods from pre-2020 and post-2020.

ÒSB 775 is a remarkable climate and equity solution for California that the Center for Climate Protection whole-heartedly endorses,Ó said Ann Hancock, the CenterÕs executive director. ÒFor 10 years, the Center has advocated for a carbon price that reflects the actual cost of fossil fuel to our economy and environment, and that returns revenues to people. We need a science-based policy that addresses the regressive impact of rising fossil energy prices on working people to which such a carbon price will contribute. SB 775 fits the bill.Ó

SB 775 supporters include California Environmental Justice Alliance, Asian-Pacific Environmental Network, CitizensÕ Climate Lobby, Courage Campaign, 350 Bay Area, San Diego 350, SoCal 350, Union of Concerned Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility Ð SF, Greenlining Institute, Coalition for Clean Air, Californians for a Carbon Tax, Friends of the Earth, Universal Income Project, plus several other organizations and economists from Stanford, Duke, and Colorado State.

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