Covering the new California climate bill, AB 398, the San Jose Mercury spoke with Near Zero’s Danny Cullenward:

Assembly Bill 398 would extend through 2030 a program that sets an ever-lowering cap on greenhouse gas emissions and essentially requires industry to pay to pollute, acquiring permits for every ton of carbon released into the atmosphere.

State regulators now issue millions of free permits, but had planned to begin weaning factories and the refineries from the help starting next year, forcing them to pay for a larger share of the permits. Instead, the new proposal would keep the aid flowing. Free permits for the oil and gas industry alone would add up to $10 billion-$30 billion from 2018 to 2030, said Danny Cullenward, an economist and researcher with the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.

“The biggest winners of this proposal are the oil industry, by and large,” said Cullenward, who advised Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, on another cap-and-trade proposal that has been stalled in the Senate.

Read the full article, “Debate rages over California cap-and-trade deal, concessions to Big Oil,” by Katy Murphy, on the San Jose Mercury website.