The battle over what California’s cap-and-trade system will look like beyond 2020 is underway. The proposal unveiled by Senate Democratic leaders would reshape the program that critics have called dysfunctional and marred by legal uncertainty.
“We in the California legislature have been listening to those who have valid concerns about the current system," says Senator Bob Wieckowski. He says the proposal would create a system that's more predictable and has more stability.
For companies that must buy permits for the greenhouse gases they emit, the bill sets a minimum and maximum cost. The state would also return some of the money it raises through the program to consumers.
Assembly Republicans, who have their own proposal, say that’s an important step.
“We want to make sure that people in California get rebates or some sort of credits back to them," says Assembly GOP leader Chad Mayes. "It shouldn’t be a tax. It shouldn’t be a collection and then that money spent by politicians.”