Covering California’s new climate bill, AB 398, and subsequent actions by the California Air Resources Board, CALmatters spoke with Near Zero’s Danny Cullenward:

Since the board’s vote last month, a leading energy economist has determined that extending the higher rate of industry assistance for three years would amount to a $300 million benefit to oil refineries. The boon to other emitters—such as food processors and aerospace manufacturers—would likely come to tens of millions of dollars.

“If the Legislature comes in and says, ‘We don’t care what experts say about allocations, we still want to give away more,’ that’s a political decision and that’s a big part of the politics of (the cap and trade bill),” said Danny Cullenward, who works at Near Zero, a climate policy think tank at Carnegie Institution and teaches at Stanford’s law school.

“But this is specifically going against what, at least as of a couple of months ago, was what the air board said was the right way to approach this.”

Read the full article, “California climate deal could net big bucks for polluters,” by Laurel Rosenhall and Julie Cart, on the CALmatters website.