Calling it the most cost-effective way for California to fight climate change, a non-partisan fiscal analyst is recommending lawmakers renew the state’s cap-and-trade program.
Under the cap-and-trade program, companies buy credits from the state, which permit their emissions. The program is not only set to expire in 2020, but it also faces a lawsuit challenging its legitimacy. Businesses argue buying pollution credits is equivalent to paying a tax, but lawmakers didn’t authorize the program with the two-thirds majority vote necessary to create one.
So, in a new report, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office is suggesting lawmakers extend the program, using a two-thirds vote—killing both metaphorical birds with one bill. Last week a coalition of Democrats suggested they would support the program’s extension only if more funding and benefits reach lower-income communities that often have worse air quality.