Berman Supports Passage of Bills to Extend Cap-and-Trade and Address Air Quality

Monday, July 17, 2017

SACRAMENTO – In response to the Legislature approving and sending to the Governor AB 398 (E. Garcia) and AB 617 (C. Garcia), Assemblymember Berman issued the following statement:

“As the Trump Administration abdicates its responsibility as a global leader in combating climate change, it is paramount that California reaffirms its commitment to protecting the environment. The benefits of AB 398, which extends California’s cap-and-trade program, and its companion bill to reduce air pollutants, AB 617, will be felt for years to come. Environmentalists and businesses alike recognize that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air and water quality will boost California’s economic competitiveness, protect our precious resources, and increase people’s quality of life — now and in the future.

“This legislation is not perfect, and includes some elements that I do not personally support. But when it comes to our climate, we do not have the luxury of letting the perfect be the enemy of the very good. These bills represent a compromise that was balanced enough to achieve a two-thirds vote in the Legislature, and strong enough to represent a significant step forward. I’m proud to have voted for these important pieces of legislation so future generations can enjoy a vibrant and healthy California.”

AB 398 extends, until December 31, 2030, the Air Resources Board’s cap-and-trade program authorization, which allows the Air Resources Board to establish a market-based declining annual aggregate emissions limit for sources that emit greenhouse gases. AB 398 makes various changes to the existing cap-and-trade program, including requiring the Air Resources Board to develop ways to increase offset projects with direct environmental benefits in California and requires 50 percent of offset projects to be in California. Under AB 398, the Legislative Analyst’s Office will annually report to the Legislature on the economic impacts and benefits of greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

AB 617 addresses air quality and pollution control issues in a series of measures that includes increasing penalties against violators of air quality regulations. It also requires the retrofit of air pollution control devices at industrial facilities that are part of the cap-and-trade program using the best available retrofit control technology.

Assemblymember Marc Berman represents the 24th Assembly District, which includes southern San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Website of Assemblymember Marc Berman: www.assembly.ca.gov/Berman. His official headshot is available here.