California continues to lead the country in the fight against global warming with Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent signing of Assembly Bill 398, a landmark climate change bill.
The bill extends the expiration of the state’s successful cap-and-trade program to 2030. The original program, which was signed into law five years ago by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was set to expire in 2020.
Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International who attended the bill’s signing on Tuesday in San Francisco, had encouraged legislators earlier to approve the legislation extending cap and trade.
“It is helping our state meet its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. And, it will put us on a path to reach the additional target of at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030,” Pizarro said in a July 12 op-ed piece in the Sacramento Bee co-authored with PG&E and SDG&E.
Cap and trade is one of California’s key programs for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a key part of Edison International’s strategic business focus.
The program sets a cap on emissions from facilities covered by cap and trade. Companies can either cut their emissions, or they can trade or buy emissions permits through an auction. Each year of the program, the cap and number of permits is lowered, helping reduce overall emissions.
Cap and trade also grants electric utilities emissions allowances that are sold in the market, generating proceeds that are returned to customers as a California Climate Credit on their bill. Money raised from the program is also used to fund clean-energy projects.
“Edison believes this joint cap-and-trade proposal is necessary to meet California's aggressive climate goals and includes critical protections for our customers, the disadvantaged communities we serve and the environment,” said Pizarro.