California made good on its promise to establish a nation-leading market for carbon emissions when a bipartisan vote of the Legislature passed the cap-and-trade program in 2017. But rules proposed recently by the California Air Resources Board may undermine the will of the Legislature. Why should you care?
The mandate of AB 398, which was supported by CalChamber and a broad-based coalition, was to extend market-based compliance (aka cap-and-trade) for carbon emissions to the year 2030 “in a manner that effectively reduces greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions; minimizes any adverse impacts on state consumers, businesses, and the economy; and continues elements of the current program that protect state utility ratepayers.” The bill explicitly recognizes California’s role as creating a global model to encourage national and international GHG reductions. To that end, the Legislature specifically directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop regulations using a series of balancing factors, “in a manner that minimizes costs and maximizes benefits for California’s economy, improves and modernizes California’s infrastructure and maintains electric system reliability, maximizes additional environmental and economic cobenefits for California, and complements the state’s efforts to improve air quality.”
On September 4, 2018, CARB released its proposed regulations to implement AB 398. CARB staff worked hard to retain much of the current program, which maintains the stability of the marketplace for trading in carbon emissions. Read More