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LAO Recommends Renewal Of California's Cap-And-Trade Program

Rich Pedroncelli / AP / File
 

Rich Pedroncelli / AP / File

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.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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