No wonder it was nicknamed “cap-and-tax.”
E&E Daily reports:
California Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday proposed borrowing $500 million in revenues from the state’s landmark carbon cap-and-trade auctions and using those to help balance the general fund budget.
The enviros don’t like it:
“This means the governor will be delaying opportunities to use those funds to actually get critical reductions in global warming pollution at the time when all science shows that we must reduce those emissions as much and as quickly as possible,” Kathryn Phillips, executive director of Sierra Club California, said in a statement.
“This shift in funds is extraordinarily disappointing,” she added. “The governor is using bizarre accounting to ‘balance’ the budget and making future generations pay the price with climate disruption.”
A group that represents low-income communities located near power plants accused Brown of subverting the intent of S.B 535, legislation passed last year that requires part of the auction money go toward helping economically disadvantaged areas.
“The governor is playing a dangerous game that could wreck California’s push toward clean energy,” said Ryan Young, legal counsel at Greenlining Institute, in a statement. “Voters of color turned out in force to protect A.B. 32, the clean energy law, when it was under attack by Prop. 23, and they did it based on the promise that it would bring clean energy investments to polluted and struggling communities.”
“Seizing these funds for other uses will hurt our state’s neediest communities, and it’s simply not necessary,” Young added.
Finally, California air chief Mary Michols debunks the notion of cap-and-trade:
Nichols said that the loan would not hurt the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. By 2020, the state wants to cut emissions to 1990 levels and by 2050 aims to cut greenhouse gas pollution 80 percent.
“The part about the cap-and-trade program that is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it’s the cap, it’s the lowering of the cap,” Nichols said. “It’s not the revenue that we get from the allowances.