California Senate votes to extend Cap-and-Trade policy through 2030

SACRAMENTO (KUSI) — Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento are reaching into your wallets once again.

Monday night, they voted to extend the state’s Cap-and-Trade policy, a measure that will cost everyone living, or driving in California.

The State Senate approved the bill in a 28 to 12 vote. The Assembly is now scheduled to begin debating it.

Related Link: Governor Brown makes case to extend Cap-and-Trade Program

Critics call the bill an assault on California’s middle class and poor.

While we’re already facing a $0.12 per gallon increase in the gas tax, the extension of Cap-and-Trade may tack on as much as $0.20 more cents per gallon of gas. 

The policy is supposed to help fight global climate change, charging polluters in the state for C02 emissions.

Governor Jerry Brown gave an impassioned speech last week in favor of extending the policy.

But it’s the taxpayer who will bear the cost. While the state’s wealthy can absorb the extra costs at the pump, it’s the working class and the poor who will feel the increase most.

One example is the thousands of dollars taxpayers shell out in subsidies for those who can afford to buy a Tesla, r some other electric car. 

It adds up to yet another increase in the cost of living for Californians and when that happens, those most hurt are the poor and middle class.

Environmental advocates aren’t all happy either. They said the bill is too friendly to the oil industry and critics argue the tax hike isn’t worth it since the entire state of California only contributes one percent of the world’s total green house gas emissions.

Also important to note, about a quarter-billion of the money from Cap-and-Trade is earmarked for Gov. Brown’s bullet train. 

Locally, Assemblymember Todd Gloria released a statement, calling the program, "the most effective and cost efficient state solution we have."

“As the author of the City of San Diego’s groundbreaking climate action plan, I have always believed that the threat of climate change is real and it requires urgent action for the sake of all humanity. 

While the Trump Administration works to roll back gains at the national and international level, California must take up the mantle of global leadership in the fight against climate change. When we see the impacts of our changing climate virtually every day and working families are subjected to toxic emissions from polluters, we simply cannot look the other way and fail to act.

California’s cap-and-trade program is the most effective and cost efficient state solution we have to combat climate change and it is being replicated by others around the world. More importantly, the legislation approved today will maintain our progress, help keep utility costs low for working families through household climate credits, create more clean energy jobs for the middle-class, and enable us to continue reaching our greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

Assemblywoman Sharen Quick-Silva of Orange County, also released a statement, saying now is not the time to raise taxes.

“This is not the time to raise taxes on the working people, nor is it the time to force more regulations on our economy. The middle and working classes in our communities are hit the hardest with these fees,” said Quirk-Silva. “The bill doesn’t go far enough to protect citizens of Orange County from pollution.”

Reducing our carbon emissions is a worthwhile and important endeavor, climate change is a serious environmental reality,” said Quirk-Silva. “Nonetheless, Orange County has been a donor county for too long. It cannot remain a county that pays and pays. We deserve to see more of a return for our contributions. We write the checks, but don’t receive the dividends.”

Categories: Local San Diego News