California Senate hearing on post-2020 cap-and-trade systems

by | May 11, 2017

Sen. Bob Wieckowski (left) in a hearing, with David Garcia (right), a consultant for the Senate Environmental Policy Committee

Yesterday the California Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee, chaired by Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), heard testimony on cap-and-trade systems for greenhouse gas emissions, as part of debate around SB 775, a major new climate bill that Wieckowski put forward earlier this month.

Near Zero’s Danny Cullenward testified at the hearing, alongside collaborator Michael Wara of the Stanford Law School—both of whom advised the Senate on SB 775. (Disclaimer: Cullenward and Wara testified in their individual capacities only, not on behalf of their employers or affiliates.)

Cullenward’s written testimony is available here, and the full hearing is available from the California Senate’s media archive as either video or audio.

“As a proud supporter of state climate policy, I want to see California extend its carbon pricing policy to ensure that the state is able to reach its climate targets and to demonstrate leadership at a time when it is needed most,” Cullenward wrote in his testimony, which focused on four key points:

• Without legislative re-authorization, California’s existing cap-and-trade program will expire at the end of December 2020.

• The legislature should re-authorize cap-and-trade by a 2/3 vote in order to insulate ARB’s authority from a Proposition 26 challenge.

• Re-authorization of the current cap-and-trade program design will lead to significant and immediate impacts on carbon and energy prices in California.

• A post-2020 carbon pricing policy should reflect the successes of the present program and include new features to address the challenges posed by California’s ambitious 2030 climate target.

photo credit: California Senate