News & Articles
A Landmark California Climate Program Is in Jeopardy
Gov. Jerry Brown of California and lawmakers in Sacramento pulled off a huge political feat last summer when they renewed one of the state’s premier climate programs. The governor sought a two-thirds majority to insulate the program from legal challenges, and he got there by winning support from eight Republican lawmakers.
It was a sharp and welcome contrast to the political dysfunction in Washington. Now California must write the detailed regulations that will turn the governor’s vision into reality. As supporters of strong action to tackle climate change, we are worried that the state government may be sleepwalking its way into a serious problem.
Issues for Legislative Oversight
The cap‑and‑trade program is one of the state’s key policies intended to reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Recently, the Legislature extended the state’s cap‑and‑trade program from 2020 to 2030 with the passage of Chapter 135 of 2017 (AB 398, E. Garcia).
In this report, we  provide background information on cap‑and‑trade and the recent extension of the program to 2030, (2) identify key administrative implementation decisions that could affect program outcomes and the need for legislative oversight, (3) identify potential opportunities to increase the effectiveness of a new advisory committee created by AB 398, and (4) describe potential state cap‑and‑trade revenue scenarios through 2030.
California's Clean Fuels Standard Poised to Get Even Better
Next month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is considering amendments to extend and strengthen the state’s pioneering Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS). The LCFS works in concert with other climate and vehicle policies to cut oil use and transportation emissions by promoting the use of cleaner transportation fuels ranging from biofuels to renewable electricity.
CARB staff’s proposal to the board would extend the policy to 2030 and double the emissions reduction target from a 10 percent reduction in average fuel carbon intensity in 2020 to a 20 percent reduction in 2030.