Covering California climate and air pollution policies, The Center for Public Integrity spoke with Near Zero’s Danny Cullenward:
AB 398 left it to the Air Resources Board to fix a core flaw in the cap-and-trade program: the glut of allowances, which, the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said, “potentially increases emissions and puts downward pressure on prices.” Some of these allowances are, and will continue to be, handed out for free. Danny Cullenward, an energy economist and a lawyer who advised legislators during last summer’s debate in Sacramento, says the giveaways are justified in certain cases; businesses that operate on thin margins could be forced to shut down or flee California without help. But 72 percent of the free industrial allowances last year went to the oil and gas sector, which includes production and refining. AB 398 locked in these subsidies – worth “many billions of dollars,” Cullenward says – through 2030.
Read the full article, “‘The fear of dying’ pervades Southern California’s oil-polluted enclaves,” by Jim Morris, on The Center for Public Integrity website.