Fabian Núñez: “Embrace the opportunities presented by ‘cap and trade'”

So, it’s mainly this guy’s fault:

California has always been on the leading edge of technological innovation, and now our groundbreaking environmental policies are launching a new wave of investment and economic growth.

As speaker of the state Assembly, I authored and fought for the passage of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, because I knew we were on the cusp of an extraordinary opportunity.

We could limit pollution, protect public health and spur a clean energy revolution at the same time. We are off to a good start, as venture capital for clean energy is flowing into California in record amounts in the five years since AB 32 was signed, and jobs in the sector are growing much faster than the rest of our economy.

This is an exciting result, but shouldn’t be surprising news because we built the system in order to attract investment. Yet we still have further to go, and as I said then, I will say again: Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s why California is creating a market system that puts a price on dirty fossil fuels, which offers an unprecedented incentive for innovation in cleaner energy sources.

This historic “price on pollution” will kick in when the cap-and-trade market gets going in the next year, and it is more important than ever to embrace the opportunities presented by this policy. By setting a strict limit on pollution from California’s largest sources, we are motivating investors, innovators and entrepreneurs to deliver solutions that will keep us under the limit at the least cost. After all, creativity and entrepreneurship have always been a key part of how we do business here in California.

When AB 32 was passed, we in the Legislature recognized that a market-based program had a range of economic benefits to offer. Not only does this tool keep the cost of compliance down, but the sale of pollution permits creates revenue that can flow to technologies and programs that benefit the environment and the economy.

Sacramento Bee

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