partlycloudy
Thursday July 27th, 2017 8:50PM

Gov. Brown makes dire plea to save California climate law

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown warned of a California ravaged by forest fires, disease and mass migration if lawmakers fail to renew the state's signature program to fight climate change, which he called "a threat to organized human existence."

California's longest-serving governor, who has spent most of his life in and around public service, told lawmakers "this is the most important vote of your life." Brown, 79, even warned lawmakers and his critics it's them, not him, who will be around to experience the worst devastation wrought by global warming.

"A lot of you people are going to be alive," he said Thursday, turning to a room packed with lobbyists and advocates on both sides of the debate. "And you're going to be alive in a horrible situation that you're going to see mass migrations, vector diseases, forest fires, Southern California burning up. That's real, guys."

The urgency of Brown's pitch comes as he scrambles to line up support to renew California's cap-and-trade program in the face of opposition from conservatives who warn about costs and liberals who say it doesn't do enough to protect the environment and clean dirty air.

"It does not get us to the real, rapid emission reductions that our planet and our communities desperately need," said Amy Vanderwarker, executive director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance.

Despite the opposition, Democrats on a key Senate committee passed a package of bills Thursday, one to renew cap and trade and another aimed at improving local air quality. Both are facing a critical hurdle next week: Votes on the floor of the Assembly and Senate. The cap-and-trade plan needs two-thirds to support to pass, and almost every Republican is opposed to it.

The governor is deeply invested in the outcome of those votes, which would bolster his efforts to position California as a global climate leader.

California governors rarely appear at legislative proceedings, but Brown sat through an entire four-hour hearing, taking notes as his critics spoke and occasionally shaking his head or muttering his disagreement.

Cap and trade puts a limit on carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits to release greenhouse gases. The governor touts the program around the world as an effective way to affordably address climate change, but its legal authorization expires in 2020. The current proposal would expand the program until 2030.

State law requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2030. Without cap and trade, state regulators will be forced to enact restrictive mandates on polluters that would be burdensome for businesses and significantly more expensive for consumers, Brown said.

"That will be noticed by your constituents," he said.

He also punched back against critics who suggest he's pressing the issue for personal gain.

"I'm not here about some cockamamie legacy that some people talk about," he said. "This isn't about me. I'm going to be dead."

But passage of the bill isn't coming easy. Environmental justice advocates, who work to improve air-quality at the neighborhood level, say concessions Brown made to the oil industry and other polluters will harm the environment. The bill prohibits local air quality management districts from further restricting carbon emissions of stationary sources like oil refineries. It also allows for some pollution permits to be distributed for free.

Brown and legislative leaders looked to address those concerns with the companion legislation that aims to monitor and improve air quality around major sources of pollution, but the bill has not swayed environmental justice advocates.

The bill has highlighted divisions between environmentalists who work nationally, who are focused on reducing global carbon emissions and creating a policy that can be replicated elsewhere, and those who work locally. The latter group says cap and trade allows polluters to continue fouling the air around areas like southern Los Angeles, the eastern Bay Area and the Central Valley.

Brown has been openly courting Republicans, and the legislation includes tax provisions they favor such as a tax exemption for power companies and the repeal of a fire-prevention fee.

But early Thursday, Assembly GOP Leader Chad Mayes said none of his caucus members are currently supporting the legislation as the GOP seeks to sweeten the deal. Republicans want to see more tax cuts and regulatory relief, he said. Eleven of 13 Senate Republicans signed a letter saying they oppose extending cap and trade. Four California Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives also weighed in urging their counterparts in Sacramento to vote no.

___

This story has been corrected to show Gov. Jerry Brown said climate change will result in Southern California "burning up," not blowing up.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities, AP Business - Small Business
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Panel says lawmakers may use campaign funds on home security
FEC lets lawmakers use campaign funds to upgrade security systems at their homes after a House member critically wounded in a shooting
9:18PM ( 5 minutes ago )
GOP health care plan draws mixed reaction from governors
U.S. governors meeting in Rhode Island had mixed reactions to the latest health care proposal from congressional Republicans
9:18PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Gov. Brown makes dire plea to save California climate law
Gov. Jerry Brown is painting a bleak picture of a state ravaged by climate change and consumers facing higher costs for food and electricity as he implored state lawmakers Thursday to grant his request to extend the state's signature climate initiative
9:16PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump: Son's Russia meeting 'standard campaign practice'
Trump defends son's meeting with a Russian lawyer as "standard campaign practice" and says "nothing happened"
8:17PM ( 1 hour ago )
House panel rejects corruption claim, boosting Brazil leader
A Brazilian congressional committee has rejected a recommendation to try Brazil's president for corruption, handing him a symbolic victory a day after a former president was convicted of graft
7:45PM ( 1 hour ago )
New Senate GOP health care bill teeters on the brink
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell releases new health care bill, but he's struggling for GOP votes to pass it
7:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Senate intel panel asks Trump Jr. for documents
The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee says the panel has requested documents from Donald Trump Jr.
5:41PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Health care bill has $150M sweetener for Alaska
Health care bill offers benefit solely to Alaska, to woo support from state's undecided senator
5:34PM ( 3 hours ago )
Committee rejects graft charge in boost to Brazil leader
A congressional committee has rejected a recommendation to try Brazil's president for corruption, handing him a symbolic victory a day after a former president was convicted of graft
5:20PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Patterson, Tocchet to help lead Coyotes in new direction
Steve Patterson and Rick Tocchet have returned to Phoenix to help the Arizona Coyotes become consistent on the ice and find a permanent home
7:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
Nevada regulators try to tackle pot distribution bottleneck
Responding to overwhelming demand at Nevada's new recreational marijuana stores, state regulators approved the first two pot distribution licenses and were considering emergency regulations Thursday aimed at licensing more.
7:04PM ( 2 hours ago )
Hurricanes: Owner Karmanos considers offer to sell team
Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is considering selling the NHL team
6:05PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Group led by ex-alderman, unions acquires Chicago Sun-Times
An investment group led by a former Chicago alderman and a labor union has acquired the Chicago Sun-Times
5:04PM ( 4 hours ago )
Insect attack! US West is battling crop-killing swarms
Farmers in the U.S. West face a creepy scourge every eight years or so: Swarms of ravenous insects that can decimate crops and cause slippery, bug-slick car crashes as they march across highways and roads
5:03PM ( 4 hours ago )
McConnell reveals new health bill; will his GOP support it?
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell releases new health care bill, but he's struggling for GOP votes to pass it
1:58PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
North Korea's bomb program under 3 generations of Kim family
A look at how North Korea's nuclear weapons program evolved under 3 generations of the Kim family
8:29AM ( 12 hours ago )
North Korea's Kim: Dictator? Reformer? Shrewd negotiator?
Almost six years after Kim Jong Un's rise, some things about the young North Korean leader have come into focus
5:59AM ( 15 hours ago )
Q&A: California looks to keep landmark climate policy alive
California Gov. Jerry Brown is racing to convince state lawmakers to extend his state's signature program to confront climate change
10:10PM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Panel says lawmakers may use campaign funds on home security
FEC lets lawmakers use campaign funds to upgrade security systems at their homes after a House member critically wounded in a shooting
9:18PM ( 5 minutes ago )
GOP health care plan draws mixed reaction from governors
U.S. governors meeting in Rhode Island had mixed reactions to the latest health care proposal from congressional Republicans
9:18PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Iraqi facing deportation after aiding military takes refuge
Supporters of an Iraqi man who fled to the U.S. during the Gulf War and trained tens of thousands of American soldiers says he's facing deportation orders that could lead to his death in his homeland
9:10PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Analysis: Trump will claim health care win _ or shift blame
Analysis: For Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, success on health care could bring a Rose Garden celebration with President Trump
8:50PM ( 33 minutes ago )
AP source: Man killed 4 men separately, burned them at farm
A person with firsthand knowledge of a drug dealer's confession to murdering four missing Pennsylvania men says they were killed separately after buying marijuana and their bodies were burned at a farm
8:46PM ( 38 minutes ago )