California Extends Cap-And-Trade Program


California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed an extension of the state's cap-and-trade program into law on Tuesday, further cementing the Golden State's status as a hotbed of leftist insanity.

The cap-and-trade program, which was first set in motion by legislation signed into law by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) in 2006, was set to expire in 2020. The bill signed into law extends the program to 2030.

"You're here witnessing one of the key milestones in turning around this carbonized world into a decarbonized sustainable future," said Brown.

A two-thirds vote from both houses of the state legislature was needed in order to extend the program, and it just barely passed, with some Republicans casting votes for it. Some on the Right viewed it as detrimental to the economy, while some on the Left didn't think the bill went far enough.

Cap-and-trade sets a limit on carbon emissions, requiring businesses to purchase permits if they emit over 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. In 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that the state had raised $2.27 billion from selling such permits, which typically are priced at $11.50 per ton.

The Journal also noted that the state legislative analyst's office had concluded that the cap-and-trade program would "increase gasoline prices by 13 cents to 20 cents a gallon by 2020, and possibly by more than 50 cents."

Even if you agree that man-made climate change is a real problem — and the evidence suggests otherwise — cap-and-trade is not economically sustainable in the long-run. In 2010, The Heritage Foundation estimated that the cap-and-trade bill proposed in Congress at the time would have resulted in a 90% increase in electricity rates for the average household by 2035 — a $1,200 increase for a family of four.

If man-made climate change is truly the threat that the Left makes it out to be, then advances in technology and innovation are the true answer, not big government policies that place a burden on the poor and the middle class.

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