Venable partner Bill Sloan
was quoted in an article in the July 21, 2017, issue of California Energy Markets
about how the California Legislature sent the cap-and-trade extension bill package to the California Governor.
The California Legislature on July 17 passed a two-bill package to extend the Golden State's greenhouse gas-emissions cap-and-trade program through 2030, ensuring the program can move forward, creating certainty for clean technology investment in the state, and handing a victory to Gov. Jerry Brown on one of his top priorities.
A supermajority, bipartisan vote in both the Senate and Assembly for the cap-and-trade bill, AB 398, assures the cap-and-trade program, which has been challenged as an illegal tax, could survive similar challenges.
With the bills' passage, "the landscape is kind of settled," said Sloan. "As a state [California has] decided to commit on this regulatory path for addressing greenhouse gas emissions, and cap and trade is very much going to continue to be a part of that in the foreseeable future, in the absence of any federal action."
But Sloan was less sanguine about the impact of the cap-and-trade extension on other states. California has the wherewithal and the ability to approach GHG regulation with this robust and comprehensive approach, he said. Other states, however, are not in a similar position, so the question becomes whether other states would be inspired to link or join with what California is doing.
Whether other states would seek to adopt the same approach as California remains to be seen, especially without any signal from the federal government that it is going to regulate carbon in any way, Sloan said.