On the eve of his departure for China, where he’ll hold meetings on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown is imploring California lawmakers to extend the state’s “cap-and-trade” greenhouse gas reduction program.
In fact, the governor wants to reach agreement with the Legislature by the end of June. And he’s demanding a two-thirds vote to protect against a possible legal challenge.
In an interview with Capital Public Radio, Brown said he’s moving “heaven and earth” to pass an extension.
“If California gives up on its cap-and-trade program, then we’re certainly not the climate leader. And I do think our leaders in the Legislature want to be the climate leader,” Brown told CapRadio's Ben Bradford Wednesday.
But there appears to be little willingness among Democratic leaders to act on the governor’s time frame. They believe it will be hard to find supermajority support for such a controversial vote so soon after raising the gas tax.
Some Republicans, on the other hand, have expressed interest in joining negotiations to help the governor reach a two-thirds vote. That reflects the desire of the oil industry and business groups to reach a cap-and-trade deal – since the alternative to that market-based system would be new “command and control” rules set by state regulators.