Near Zero’s Danny Cullenward, as well as collaborator Michael Wara of Stanford Law School, featured in a Sacramento Bee article covering two new California climate bills, SB 100 that would set a target for 100% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2045, as well as SB 775, which would overhaul the state’s cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions allowances. Cullenward and Wara both advised the Senate on SB 775.

The Sacramento Bee article points out that California is running counter to the federal government on climate issues.

Despite the uncertainty of moving into a post-fossil fuel world, California officials are clearly galvanized by the idea of thumbing their noses at the Trump administration when it comes to energy, the environment and climate change.

“You’re seeing a renewed enthusiasm in the current political moment,” said Danny Cullenward, a Stanford University energy economist and lawyer who is advising Senate Democrats on the proposed overhaul of the cap-and-trade program. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm for standing up and saying we’re doubling down.”

The article also covered the impact that SB 775 could have:

The impact would be felt by practically every Californian. Gas prices could increase by 3 to 11 cents a gallon in 2021 as fuel wholesalers pass on their higher carbon costs to motorists, according to an analysis written by Cullenward and Michael Wara, a Stanford environmental lawyer. Prices would rise even higher in future years.

The bill’s advocates, however, said the legislation would protect businesses and consumers against potential price spikes. Besides funding various “green” initiatives, the state-run auctions would generate a “climate dividend” for every Californian – a check in the mail from the Franchise Tax Board to offset projected increases in gasoline prices and other goods.

SB 775 also would set a $30 maximum on carbon prices to start, a ceiling that would grow by $10 a year. An “economic competitiveness assurance program” would force out-of-state companies to buy carbon emissions permits when they sell products in California in competition with in-state companies that must comply with cap-and-trade requirements. California manufacturers trying to sell goods out of state would receive partial exemptions from the carbon regulations.

“It creates a level playing field,” Wara said.