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July 10, 2018 > California Senate approves Cap & Trade plan

California Senate approves Cap & Trade plan

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

The California State Senate approved the 2018-2019 Cap & Trade budget spending plan on June 25, including $1.4 billion in discretionary investments in climate adaptation, research, wildfire prevention, and a number of other programs.

?These investments show California?s commitment to comprehensively fighting climate change and adapting to its multiple effects on our state?s environment and infrastructure,? said Senator Bob Wieckowski, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review subcommittee that oversees the Cap & Trade plan. ?From modernizing our school buses and trucks, to investing in wildfire prevention and new equipment for Cal Fire, this plan addresses the many challenges we face every day. It contains $86 million for climate mitigation and resilience, and $20 million for climate research at a time when we need to increase our resiliency across the state.?

Cap & Trade was established to help reduce heat-trapping gases that cause global warming. Putting a price on carbon is key to reducing its production and driving investment and innovation into new, cleaner technologies.

California?s Cap & Trade program was set to expire in 2020, but last year the Legislature voted to extend it. The state is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 40 percent below the 1990 levels by 2030. The program?s extension has removed the uncertainty surrounding its future and resulted in increased revenue from Cap & Trade auctions.

Other elements in the funding plan target $468 million for low carbon transportation, including $175 million for clean vehicle rebates. It also contains $240 million for Healthy Forests, which includes $30 million for prescribed fires and fuel reduction by Cal Fire. Another $275 million is for reducing air pollution and assisting local air districts and community groups with air monitoring, a key part of last year?s agreement to extend Cap & Trade.

The program also includes funding for urban greening, coastal resilience, wetlands restoration, and low-income weatherization.

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