As the California Legislature approaches Summer Recess, discussions are heating up between legislators and the governor regarding extension of the state’s cap and trade program beyond 2020. The existing cap and trade system was designed and implemented as a market mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in accordance with AB 32, passed in 2006. AB 32 required a reduction in GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Last year another bill, SB 32, was passed and signed by the governor. This law requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to further reduce GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. However, the law does not extend the cap and trade system beyond 2020. Without an extension of this market-based program, the only remaining alternative is a command and control system implemented by the state’s air quality regulators that would likely cause additional economic harm to agriculture. CARB would have an unlimited array of regulatory options to achieve the legally mandated reductions.
Western Growers has been actively engaged on this issue with the governor’s office, the Legislature, CARB and other stakeholders to help ensure the best outcome for our members and the California agricultural industry with the recognition that with or without a market-based mechanism in place, the state will seek to fulfill the legal mandate established by SB 32 to reduce GHG emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
For more information, contact Matthew Allen at (916) 446-1435.