Aguiar-Curry Supports Passage of Cap-and-Trade Extension to Fight Climate Change

(From Press Release) – – Today, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) voted in strong support of landmark legislation to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program. The package includes AB 398 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), AB 617 by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), and ACA 1 by Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley).

Together, these bills will ensure that California continues to meet its ambitious climate change goals through extending and enhancing the cap-and-trade program, monitoring and reducing air pollution in our most vulnerable communities, and holding the Legislature accountable for its management and spending of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund revenue.

“When I came to the Capitol, I knew the most important vote I would take this year would be on cap-and-trade. This program is a global model that shows how we can strike a balance between aggressive climate change goals and protecting and strengthening our economy,” said Aguiar-Curry.

“For months I fought to bring the agricultural community and food processing industry to the table as participants in the discussion. I’m proud to say that we negotiated a cap-and-trade deal that strikes this balance. It holds all regulated industries accountable to reduce emissions, while also ensuring our agricultural industries get the support they need to make those reductions.”

California law requires the state to meet aggressive climate change goals that slash greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The cap-and-trade program allows businesses to buy and sell greenhouse gas emissions credits to meet a declining “cap” on the total amount allowed.

Economists agree this market-driven system allows California businesses to reduce emissions in the most economically-feasible and environmentally-friendly way. Without a legislative extension of cap-and-trade, California businesses would still have to meet state climate change goals without the market flexibility cap-and-trade provides.

“Cap-and-trade done right can successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep industries in California. Done wrong, we push businesses, jobs, and emissions out of state,” said Aguiar-Curry. “Food processors in my district are especially vulnerable to these economic pressures. The package passed today represents a compromise between environmental leaders, industry stakeholders, and policymakers to keep agricultural businesses in California, so they can continue being part of the solution to climate change.”

Assembly District 4 is a national epicenter for sustainable farming, innovative ranching, and food processing. Although farming is not subject to cap-and-trade, environmentally-friendly agricultural practices play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions statewide. However, without state assistance from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, it is doubtful whether these cutting-edge agricultural leaders can continue to cover the costs of their efforts.

Mona Shulman from Pacific Coast Producers, a food processor with facilities in Woodland, said: “As recognized by Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry, who has been a strong supporter of family farms and food producers, this bill is needed to prevent economic leakage and to protect our California companies against national and international competition.  We join her in supporting AB 398.”

Roger Isom, President and CEO of the Western Agricultural Processors Association, agreed by stating: “The passage of AB 398 is the only way to extend the existing cap-and-trade program, which is the only affordable method for food processors to meet those reductions.”

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, author of AB 398, was one of many colleagues who individually thanked Aguiar-Curry during debate on the Assembly Floor for her leadership in representing rural communities. Aguiar-Curry stated, “The package we voted on today was passed with the assurance that farmers and ranchers will have the resources they need to continue the important work they do to achieve our climate change goals.”

Jay Ziegler on behalf of The Nature Conservancy said, “Every scientific analysis of how we reduce greenhouse gas emissions tells us that we need to connect land use to our carbon strategies. We greatly appreciate Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry’s leadership in working to ensure that the natural and working lands are an integral part of California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts. Our farms, forests, wetlands, and open spaces are key priorities in reaching our shared climate goals.”

Hundreds of agriculture, food processing, environmental, clean energy, business, labor, local government, public health, and research groups from all over California have come out in strong support for this legislative package. These bills are the product of months of research, stakeholder meetings, and negotiations, which is reflected in the broad group of diverse supporters.

Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.

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  1. Keith O

    This is all just a money grab by taxing California citizens through higher energy costs and gas prices to pay for Gov. Brown’s pet project, the Bullet Train to Nowhere.

  2. Alan Miller

    Not mentioned in this article anywhere is that the Legislative Analyst’s Office predicted that gasoline prices would rise 63¢ per gallon by 2020 due to this legislation.  That would not be a gas “tax” officially, as it would be reflected in the price of gasoline itself, due to the higher costs for oil companies.  The price of electricity would go up as well, as would the cost of diesel.  Because of the cost of diesel going up, the cost of shipping for all goods and services will go up.

    1. Keith O

      There is one thing that is not up for discussion as Gov. Jerry Brown battles to win support for the extension of California’s cap-and-trade program: the flow of cap-and-trade funds to the bullet train.
      “If that’s a killer for you, then you have a dead body,” Brown told this newspaper’s editorial board.

       Extending the cap-and-trade program could mean an additional gasoline price increase of between 24 and 73 cents a gallon by 2031, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

        1. David Greenwald

          From today: “The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated last year that the change had raised the retail price of gas by about 11 cents a gallon and the price of diesel by about 13 cents a gallon.”

          “Supporters and opponents of Assembly Bill 398 are far apart in their claims about what extending the program means for motorists’ wallets.”

          Read more here:

        2. Keith O

          The LAO’s office estimated that cap and trade raised gasoline prices by 11 cents a gallon when the rules weren’t nearly as onerous as the new cap and trade restrictions coming in the future.   73 cents a gallon more isn’t too hard to envision.

      1. Keith O

        There’s many articles showing that cap and trade funds are indeed going to the Bullet Train to Nowhere.

        As of January, $800 million of cap-and-trade funds had been spent on high-speed rail. And in the rail authority’s 2016 business plan, there’s a letter to legislative leaders from the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group about the financing for the initial operating segment from San Jose to Wasco.
        “Most important,” they write, is “the Authority’s ability to securitize cap-and-trade funding when needed in the future.”
        Securitizing is the process of borrowing future revenues by selling bonds to investors. The longer the time period of guaranteed revenue, the more that can be borrowed.
        “Extending the C&T program beyond 2020 and defining the Authority’s share of the proceeds is one potential way to achieve at least part of the funding objective,” the experts wrote.
        The business plan says the first segment of the bullet train will need $5.3 billion in committed cap-and-trade funds, plus another $5.2 billion borrowed against future cap-and-trade revenues to be collected between 2025 and 2050.

          1. Don Shor

            The voters passed the bonds to pay for it. If you want to stop it, you would need to put it on the ballot again. Until then, it’s in the funding stream and approved by the voters.
            By the way, it’s not a “train to nowhere.” The ultimate plan would connect SF to LA, then Sac and San Diego.

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