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CA lawmakers approve landmark extension to climate policy

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 01:53

California's legislature passes a package of bills that extends the state's signature plan to address climate change by a decade. Linda So reports.

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California lawmakers have voted to extend the state's signature plan to fight global warming by a decade. The legislation, backed by Governor Jerry Brown as a model for the country, puts California at the forefront of plans to reduce carbon emissions and adhere to the goals of the Paris climate change agreement. Brown is vowing to make California the leader in opposing the environmental policy of President Donald Trump, who withdrew the U.S. from the Paris accord and has rolled back the programs of his predecessor, Barack Obama. SOUNDBITE: ASSEMBLY MEMBER EDUARDO GARCIA, (D) COACHELLA, SAYING: "While Washington turns its back on mother earth, California must continue to lead on climate change." The legislation extends California's cap-and-trade program through 2030, setting a state limit on greenhouse gas emissions and requires companies to buy and sell permits to emit carbon dioxide. The system uses market forces to find the most efficient ways to cut pollution. The new legislation emerged after long negotiations. One Republican in the Senate and seven in the Assembly joined Democrats to vote for the package. Republican Assemblyman Devon Mathis voted for the bill despite what he described as fear tactics by opponents. SOUNDBITE: ASSEMBLY MEMBER DEVON MATHIS, (R) VISALIA, SAYING: "Out of fear of what? Our job is to have the guts to stare them in the eye and say, 'you know what, my job is to have the back of my friend, my neighbor … the guys I go to church with.' And all the politics and all the phone calls and al the B.S. that if you do this or this and all that garbage … My heart tells me this is the right thing to do." Republicans largely opposed the bill saying it places unfair burdens on consumers and employers, especially after lawmakers already passed a 12-cent-a gallon gas tax hike earlier this year. Some environmentalists argue the bill doesn't go far enough in reducing emissions.

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CA lawmakers approve landmark extension to climate policy

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 01:53