California is preparing to extend the nation’s toughest carbon emissions rule another 10 years through 2030.
The state Senate passed the bill 25-13 on Wednesday, a day after a 42-29 vote passed it through the state Assembly. Gov. Jerry Brown has said he intends to sign the bill into law, which aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 40 percent less than 1990 levels by 2030.
It’s been combined with a separate bill, a process called “double-joined” in Sacramento, that will tighten the state legislature’s oversight of the California Air Resources Board. That bill passed through on Tuesday.
The new climate change law builds on a 2006 state law enacted by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. That law put in motion the nation’s most comprehensive and strict measures to limit carbon emissions from vehicles and produced by industries such as manufacturing, electric utilities, and oil refineries. It also created a cap-and-trade auction system for companies violating emissions rules to purchase credits for compliance. That law had mandated for the state to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which has now been extended through 2030.
“With these bills, California’s charting a clear path on climate beyond 2020 and we’ll continue to work to shore up the cap-and-trade program, reduce super pollutants and direct more investment to disadvantaged communities,” Brown said in an e-mailed statement after the Assembly vote.
The California Chamber of Commerce and the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) issued statements opposing the new mandate, with the chamber calling the new rules “command and control regulations.”
“California is on track to meet our 2020 climate change goals,” Dorothy Rothrock, the president of CMTA, said in a statement. “There is no need to pass a 2030 goal right now and many reasons to wait until we get the policies right.”
Chevron Corp. and other oil companies had battled with the Brown administration and legislators who had been in support of the climate change bill. Oil companies last year succeeded in defeating a proposal to mandate a 50 percent reduction in petroleum consumptions in the state by 2030.
Fuel and energy cost increases have been tied to the state’s carbon emissions controls. The state’s tax board and power grid operator had previously reported that the rules and selling pollution credits through the cap-and-trade program have added about 12 cents a gallon to the cost of gasoline and about $5 a megawatt-hour to wholesale electricity.
The future of the cap-and-trade program is a separate matter from the new carbon rule passed this week. The auction saw a weak market in September with only 34 percent of available credits sold. However, aides to Gov. Brown have said the cap-and-trade auction system may be extended through an election ballot measure if necessary.