Gov. Jerry Brown scored a major political victory last week when the Legislature voted to renew California’s signature climate change program for another decade.
With his reputation as a global environmental leader at stake, Brown had ramped up his lobbying to a fever pitch to sway skeptical lawmakers. Negotiations continued at a furious pace until the final days, with everything from a sales tax exemption on equipment purchases for electric power companies to a suspension of the state’s controversial fire prevention fee on rural property owners dangled at lawmakers to secure the desired two-thirds supermajority.
In the end, a handful of Republicans joined most Democrats to approve the legislation, which will extend cap-and-trade, California’s market-based system for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions, through 2030.
Now Brown gets to celebrate the fruits of his labor, when he signs Assembly Bill 398 at 11 a.m. on Treasure Island in San Francisco. He will be joined by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who signed the original measure authorizing cap-and-trade at the same spot in 2006, as well climate ally Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, who authored the bill.