In an increasingly rare act of bipartisanship, Democratic and Republican lawmakers in California voted on Monday to extend the state's cap-and-trade climate program.
The initiative, which would have ended in 2020 but has now been extended to 2030, has been praised by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) as being a model for other states that want to lower their carbon emissions. "Tonight, California stood tall and once again, boldly confronted the existential threat of our time," he said in a statement released after the vote. "Republicans and Democrats set aside their differences, came together, and took courageous action. That's what good government looks like."
California law requires that by 2030, the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels, and cap and trade limits the amount of carbon emissions by businesses and makes polluters request permits to release greenhouse gases. Brown said if cap and trade wasn't in place, regulators in the state would have to enact restrictions that would be hard on businesses and expensive for consumers, The Associated Press reports. Some environmentalists say the law does not go far enough, while conservatives believe it raises consumer costs.