Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Governor Brown has signed legislation extending California’s Cap and Trade law to 2030.
California Challenges President Trump With Cap-and-Trade Law: ‘We Do Not Have to Wait for Washington’
Katy Steinmetz 3:56 PM ET
California Gov. Jerry Brown has vowed to lead America when it comes to fighting climate change, as President Donald Trump backs down from efforts aimed at combatting global warming. On Tuesday, the leader of the world’s sixth largest economy signed a bill suggesting that his vow has teeth.
On Treasure Island in San Francisco, with pelicans flying above the bay behind him, Brown signed a 10-year extension for the state’s cap-and-trade program, which state lawmakers passed with bipartisan support the week before. The controversial program requires companies to buy permits for releasing carbon into the air, in the hopes of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using financial pressure to spread greener practices in the private sector. Brown emphasized that California’s law is the only one of its kind on the books in the U.S.
“If we don’t do something about it, it is the end of the world as we know it,” Brown said of climate change at a signing ceremony held in the same place where former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill authorizing the cap-and-trade program more than a decade earlier. The program was due to expire in 2020 and will now continue until 2030. The state has committed to cutting emissions 40% by that time.
Schwarzenegger sat alongside Brown on the dais and took a more combative tone, telling Republican lawmakers in Washington to “Stop lying to the people!” by saying that measures like cap-and-trade can only be put in place at the expense of the economy. He touted the bipartisan support for the bill as proof that “We have a functional government here in California,” and described the passage of the bill as a lesson for lawmakers in D.C. “We do not have to wait for Washington to take action,” he said to applause.
I support Governor Brown’s right to pass this law. Seriously, states should be free to choose their own policies, and make their own mistakes, rather than having a one size fits all set of policies imposed by Washington.
I have concerns about the potential economic impact on poor people, but what California does is not my decision or responsibility. California voted for Brown, they knew what they were getting. It is up to Californians to decide when they have finally had enough of their self imposed energy price misery.