Jan. 16, 2017 – Legislation was introduced last week in the California Assembly (AB 151) that intends to firmly establish Cap-and-Trade as the future cornerstone policy to deliver the State’s legally mandated emissions reductions. But thorough academic review of the “market-based compliance mechanism” as implemented in California so far shows that Cap-and-Trade does not work for the lower-income communities and communities of color that disproportionately live closest to polluting facilities. Cap-and-Trade is a pollution trading scheme in which so-called greenhouse gas emissions “reductions” rely extensively on scientifically dubious out-of-state “offset” projects, while real emissions at many of the state’s largest industrial facilities continue to rise.

In response to fossil fuel industry support of legislation providing an extension of the Cap-and-Trade Program, Senior California Advocacy Campaigner Gary Graham Hughes released this statement:

“Proposing legislation to extend the Cap-and-Trade Program ignores climate science as well as the needs of affected communities throughout California for climate policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the source. Pollution trading is a false solution to the global climate crisis. A press release from California Assembly Democrats claiming they are “answering the call” to extend Cap-and-Trade fails to include an important fact: the call that Assembly Democrats and Governor Brown are answering is the one made by the fossil fuel industry to use cap-and-trade to continue their business-as-usual carbon pollution. In this age of climate science denial, Californians need climate change mitigation policy rooted in science and that provides environmental justice for the communities most affected by industrial pollution.”